By: Marina Christos (@socialtyinc) and Christine Mortensen (@getsprkd)

If you’re in the tech industry, have a small business, or a start-up, then you’ve probably heard the word “co-working.”  If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then let us tell you…  Basically, a co-working space is a place for you to work in a shared office environment—meaning multiple people from multiple companies share the same space.  Most times there is one large open area where you can have your pick of desks. Often there are separate conference rooms and other private offices available for times when you need more personal space (e.g., client meetings).

Why do places like this exist? People are going back to the office, not that they’ve ever stopped working, but they’re taking leave of their home offices and heading back to the buzz of an office environment.  What a great way to meet like-minded individuals and network! There are different levels of membership that are available to fit within your budget.  There are daily, monthly and yearly membership options.  You just need to seek out a space that fits in with your personality and work style. But, what we’re really here to talk to you about is the “New Co-Working Etiquette.”  What is the etiquette, you ask? Know the signs of when to approach and when not to approach a “co-worker”

  • Is your co-worker wearing their headphones in both ears?
    • Move along—Do not disturb
  • Are they wearing their headphones in just 1 ear?
    • Move in for the cautious approach
  • Not wearing any headphones?
    • They’re fully approachable.  Actually, they might be looking for someone to talk to them.  They’re practically begging to be bothered
  • The coffee bar and kitchen is meant to help co-workers mix and mingle.  Feel free to spark up a conversation.
  • In other circumstances, common courtesy should prevail.

Co-working spaces are a great way to find collaborators.  If you’re feeling a little shy, ask the space manager to make a recommendation or two. Any good co-working space should be a hub of activity.  Attending events and functions can be a great way to speak to your co-workers and get to know what they’re up to.  You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities may arise.

Marina Christos is the owner Socialty - Social Media Agency and Christine Mortensen is the owner of Sprk'd, Content Creation and Web Design.  Marina and Christine both co-work out of The Grind Chicago.

About Socialty:

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Socialty is a full-service social media marketing and social recruiting agency in Chicago.  We create content, websites, blog posts, email marketing and strategic marketing plans for small and medium size businesses. Our social recruiting team helps you attract talented candidates via social media outlets.  Socialty connects you to your audience and potential employees.  We'll keep you social while you carry on with your business.  Keep Social and Carry On!