What is the ugly side of co-working spaces?

There are numerous benefits to working in a co-working space for both individuals and teams, including the sharing of costs and the sense of community. The coin has two faces, as with most things in life.

The second side of the co-working space coin is the blunt truth that coworking workplaces, with their tight quarters, open areas and see-through walls, make for a naturally unproductive environment.

To help you get the most out of your coworking experience, we’ve compiled a list of productivity hacks you may apply now or in the future.

Create a work atmosphere conducive to “Deep Work.” 

An important part of being more effective is honing your skills in “Deep Work.” It is the ability to accomplish tasks and activities in a state of complete focus, which finally pushes your cognitive faculties to their limit.

Co-working spaces need to focus on these two activities:

  • In order to avoid getting distracted and losing your concentration, sit with your back to high-volume areas. Every interruption, direct or indirect, can cost you more than 20 minutes and twice your error rate.
  • Make sure you have headphones on at all times, even if you’re not interested in listening to music. A single song on repeat can work wonders for productivity if you must listen to music. Wearing earphones makes you appear more occupied, so you’re less likely to be interrupted.

Set a “no phones” rule for your workplace

Whenever you see someone else yawn, you find yourself doing the same thing. Real-life phenomenon known as “contagious yawning” exists.

It’s easy to get caught up in the need to use our smartphones while someone else is doing so. As a result, enforcing a “no phones” policy in the workplace can lessen the impacts of “contagious smartphone use,” which can lead to a lack of sustained concentration and the inability to execute “Deep Work,” as well as persistent distractions and addiction.

As a rule, keep things simple: The first time you enter the office, turn off your phone and set it in a designated bin, then retrieve it and leave the office the next time you want or need to use it.

Don’t worry about limiting the number of times workers can leave the office to use their phones.

Reduce the number of meetings by using software

For the most part, meetings are a cesspool of inefficiency and squandered potential. Because of the cost of renting additional meeting rooms at a co-working space, having too many meetings can end up costing you. Even if you must hold meetings in your office, those who are not directly involved in them may be disrupted.

You can achieve the same objective with technology and software as you do with meetings, which are really just a type of group communication.

Set up a work-only atmosphere in the office

Using your bed just for sleeping is recommended by sleep specialists in order to avoid your brain associating it with other activities and thus making it simpler to sleep effectively. Just as with an office, your brain will be more open to creating a productive environment if you only use the workplace for professional purposes.

In light of this, consider instituting a policy that mandates that everyone leave the office if they wish to eat, chat with coworkers, or do anything else that doesn’t directly pertain to work.

Although it may sound counterintuitive, it is important to encourage employees to engage in personal pursuits outside of the workplace in order to keep an environment free of distractions and maximize employee productivity.

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