Snag a FREE Day Pass with code: TRYHAVEN at checkout.

25 Tips for Making Shared Desks Work For You

Shared desks at Haven Collective
Photo by Sugar Plum Creative

Shared desks are all the rage. And not just in coworking spaces. All types of businesses are using them from traditional employers to hotels (ever heard of hoteling office space?) to flexible office spaces (coworking being just one). Read more about the various types of flexible workspaces in a recent blog.

Here is a comprehensive list of tips to help you make shared desks work for you. 

25 Tips To Make the Most Out Of Shared Desks

1. Personal Item Limit: Keep personal items to a minimum to avoid clutter.

2. Clean Desk Policy: Always leave the desk clean for the next person.

3. Label Personal Items: Clearly label personal items to avoid mix-ups.

4. Hygiene Practices: Regularly sanitize your workspace, especially in shared environments.

5. Noise-Canceling Headphones: Use them to block out distractions and focus on your work.

6. Respect Privacy: Avoid looking at others’ screens or eavesdropping on conversations.

7. Book in Advance: If possible, book your desk in advance to secure your preferred spot.

8. Time Management: Be mindful of how long you occupy shared resources like desks or meeting areas.

9. Mental Health Breaks: Take mental health breaks as needed, utilizing any wellness areas or stepping outside for fresh air.

10. Portable Organizer: Use a small, portable organizer for your essentials to easily move and set up each day.

11. Flexible Storage Solutions: Utilize shared storage areas efficiently by keeping your items compact.

12. Task Management Apps: Utilize task management apps to keep track of your to-dos efficiently.

13. Keyboard and Mouse: Bring your own to maintain personal hygiene and comfort.

14. Use Cloud Storage: This makes it easy to access your files from any desk.

15. Networking Opportunities: Engage with fellow coworkers during breaks to build your network.

16. Noise Etiquette: Be mindful of your noise level, especially when taking calls.

17. Meeting Room Bookings: Use meeting rooms for longer calls to avoid disturbing others.

18. Personal Hydration: Keep a water bottle at your desk to stay hydrated without frequent trips.

19. Personal Calendar: Keep a digital or physical calendar to manage your bookings and schedules.

20. Battery Pack: Keep a portable battery pack for your devices to avoid fighting over outlets.

21. Participate in Events: Join coworking space events to learn and socialize.

22. Community Board: Engage with the community board for updates and networking opportunities.

23. Feedback Mechanism: Use the coworking space’s feedback system to suggest improvements.

24. Personal Headset: Use a headset for calls to maintain audio privacy. (Check out this list of work-from-home items you’ll love)

25. Collaboration Tools: Leverage digital collaboration tools for seamless teamwork across the space.

25 More Tips for Making Shared Desks Work For You

Twenty-five tips may seem like a lot, but we promised to be comprehensive, so enjoy these additional tips to truly get the most out of any shared desk environment.

26. Shared Desk Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with and adhere to the workspace’s etiquette guidelines.

27. Ergonomic Accessories: Use laptop stands or ergonomic chairs if available to enhance comfort.

28. Desk Allocation: If possible, choose a desk that suits your workstyle (e.g., quiet zones for focus work).

29. Personal Comfort Items: Small, non-intrusive items like a cushion or a footrest can enhance comfort.

30. Utilize Locker Space: If available, use lockers for personal items to keep the desk area uncluttered.

31. Energy Snacks: Keep non-perishable, low-odor snacks at your desk for energy boosts.

32. Wearable Tech: Use smartwatches or fitness trackers to manage calls and notifications discreetly.

33. Adjustable Monitor Stands: Use them to ensure ergonomic screen viewing, reducing neck and eye strain.

34. Respect Space Boundaries: Be conscious of your personal space and avoid encroaching on others’.

35. Environmental Awareness: Be mindful of your energy consumption and waste production.

36. Personal Stationery: Bring your own stationery to avoid needing to borrow frequently.

37. Use Headphone Signs: Some workspaces have signs or indicators to show when you’re not to be disturbed.

38. Personal Lighting: A small, portable desk lamp can help tailor the lighting to your needs.

39. Break Scheduling: Take regular breaks to stretch and refresh, ideally away from the desk area.

40. Desk Organization Tools: Use compact organizers or trays to keep your working area tidy.

41. Digital File Organization: Maintain a well-organized digital workspace for efficiency.

42. Backup Solutions: Always have a backup of your work, either in the cloud or on an external drive.

43. Comfortable Clothing: Wear layers or comfortable clothing to adapt to varying temperatures in the space.

44. Conflict Resolution: Address any conflicts with shared space use directly and respectfully

45. Wall Space: Use shared wall space respectfully for notes or reminders, if allowed.

46. Use Do Not Disturb Modes: Utilize ‘do not disturb’ settings on devices during focus periods.

47. Personalize with Tech: Use custom wallpapers or themes on your devices for a sense of personal space.

48. Mindful Eating: Eat away from the desk in designated areas to maintain cleanliness and respect for others.

49. Use Shared Resources Wisely: Be considerate in your use of printers, copiers, and other shared resources.

50. End-of-Day Routine: Have a routine for wrapping up your day, ensuring you leave nothing important behind.

10 Tips to Enhance Your Shared Desk Experience

These tips are aimed at maximizing productivity, maintaining a respectful and hygienic shared environment, and enhancing personal comfort in a workspace. However, there are always additional nuances and innovative practices that can enhance the shared desk experience further. Here are ten more tips to consider:

51. Personal Accountability: Keep track of your usage of shared spaces and resources to ensure fair access for all members.

52. Sustainable Practices: Encourage and engage in sustainable practices, like recycling or using reusable cups and utensils.

53. Quiet Zones: Respect designated quiet zones by keeping noise to a minimum and using headphones for audio.

54. Community Engagement: Actively participate in community discussions, forums, or social media groups related to your coworking space to stay informed and connected.

55. Personal Safety Measures: Be mindful of personal safety by keeping valuables secure and being aware of emergency exits and protocols.

56. Desk Variation: If possible, vary your desk location to stimulate creativity and avoid monotony.

57. Bring a Mouse Pad: A personal mouse pad can make any desk feel more like your own.

58. Tech-Free Zones: Utilize or advocate for tech-free zones to encourage breaks from screens and digital devices.

59. Cultural Sensitivity: Be culturally sensitive and inclusive, recognizing the diverse backgrounds of fellow coworkers.

60. Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop with the workspace to suggest improvements or report issues.

Adding these tips can further enrich the shared desk experience, fostering a more productive, respectful, and community-oriented environment. Each workspace has its unique culture and set of rules, so it’s beneficial to adapt these tips to the specific context of your space.

Coworking spaces, like Haven Collective, often provide office supplies, quiet zones, phone booths, and more (just one of the perks of coworking). Tap into the resources provided in your space to avoid bringing everything with you from home every day. Want to know more about coworking at Haven Collective? Sign up for a free coworking day. We look forward to meeting you.

About Haven Collective

Haven Collective was created in 2018 to nurture & support entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses in our communities who are often isolated, working solo from their homes. The Haven community thrives by bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets who are all looking to level up personally & professionally. Beyond coworking, private office, and conference room workspace, Haven provides growth programming to the community designed to support the collective through one-on-one business coaching, peer group masterminds, workshops, and a resource library.

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with your network!