Jerk in the Office: Etiquette for Coworking Bullpens


Coworking is the new hip way for freelancers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs to work together, under a single roof, at a relatively low cost. We think Wikipedia summed it up nicely – “the social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but…who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded people in the same space.”

That sounds lovely, right? Strangers coming together to work, with fewer interruptions than they would face at home, right? No. This is a lie! While we love coworking spaces, we’ve recognized a trend: the jerk in the office. Whether man or woman, this person has designated himself or herself as the librarian, constantly shushing individuals or groups as soon as they begin talking. Um, hello it’s called a bullpen for a reason, get some headphones.

While we always try to be conscientious of our coworkers, communication is necessary to running a business. So, below we’ve decided to highlight a few of the best tips for functioning in your coworking space!

Get Use to the Noise

It is called a coworking space, not your private office. There’s a reason you chose to work out of a bullpen rather than at home. Whether it is too many distractions or keeping your work-life balance in check, the coworking space is more beneficial to you than working remote. So, if you feel yourself giving another coworker a dirty look just because they’re talking, get over it, they will probably be done soon.

We love iTunes too, but Use Headphones

People use many different strategies to get their work done. Some need music while others need headphones and complete silence. However, coworking spaces are not meant to be libraries, and listening to music is allowed, but we do recommend using headphones and avoid tapping, humming, and singing along. Let’s face it – that’s tremendously distracting. (P.S. If you see someone with headphones on, they could be in the zone, best bet is to avoid bothering them!)

Take Calls In Conference Rooms or the Break Room (if available)

Phone calls, skype calls, conference calls, and any other type of call should be done in a conference room, if available. If not, find a secluded space in your office and keep your voice down during the call because, remember, everyone can hear you…everyone.

Give a Nice Hello or Goodnight

A casual hello and have a good night are always great ways to befriend your coworkers. As the saying goes, kill them with kindness, and they will have nothing to hold against you besides the fact that you are trying to run your business. Plus, if you wanted to work in complete solitude, you could have stayed home. Coworking spaces are meant to be social and friendly atmospheres that can foster business relationships! Also, be interested in what other folks are working on. By socializing with your neighbor, you may even find opportunities to partner with them!

Coworking Spaces Rule!

To sum up…we love coworking spaces, it’s how we function! But, make sure you join a space that suits your working style or else you’ll just have to deal with whatever annoys you.

Interested in a few more statistics about coworking spaces? Check out Wix and Officevibe’s infographic below on the 11 Incredible Coworking Statistics That Will Make You Leave your Cubicle!

This infographic was crafted with love by Officevibe, the platform for employee surveys