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How to take calls at a coworking space without annoying people

How to take calls at a coworking space without annoying people
The phone booths at Groundwork are open to all members and provide a nice option for phone privacy.

Are you thinking about joining a coworking space but worried you’ll be on Zoom calls too often? You’re not alone. Among the folks who tour Groundwork, this is the biggest concern. So you can take comfort knowing that at most coworking spaces, you won’t be the only one in web meetings all day. Still, it is important to know the etiquette before you start. Based on my observations of six years at Groundwork I’ve compiled some do’s and don’ts. Follow these guidelines and you’ll know exactly how to take calls at a coworking space without annoying people.

Before we jump in, make sure to read my previous post: Is it appropriate to talk on the phone at a coworking space? In that post, I outline the various factors you should consider when taking calls: current noise level, loudness of your voice, length of call, etc. Once you’ve got that all sussed out, here’s what else you need to know:

Do wear headphones.

I can’t stress how important this is. Your own voice will generally blend into the ambient noise of the coworking space, but the voices coming in over Zoom or your phone will not. If you want to be the most annoying person in the office, this is a good way to do it. So if you forgot your headphones at home, book a room or jump into a phone booth and spare everybody the annoyance of listening to your entire meeting.

Don’t take personal conversations.

We humans naturally love to gossip, and we have a sixth sense for when somebody is discussing something juicy in the workplace. While work calls and meeting jargon can easily be tuned out, your personal issues will grab everybody’s attention. Keep your personal conversations at home, or get yourself some privacy by hopping into a phone booth or talking a walk outside. You’ll spare yourself the embarrassment, and you’ll save everyone else the distraction.

Do use your inside voice.

Sometimes, being on Zoom inspires us to yell into the computer like we’re talking to grandma without her hearing aide. Additionally, wearing headphones can make it hard to hear the volume of your own voice. (In fact, I’d recommend against noise-cancellation headphones for this very reason.) Make a point to be mindful of your volume control, and speak a little more softly than you would in a live conversation.

Don’t take it personally.

Finally, if a community manager or fellow coworker asks you to tone it down, don’t take it personally. Remember that you are in a shared workspace, and be appreciative of the fact that they are willing to help you understand the expectations and etiquette at that particular space.

Still feeling unsure?

I promise that if you follow the above advice, you will fit right in at your local coworking joint. But if you still feel unsure, sign up for a free trial day and give it a test run. Most coworking spaces will let you try a day before committing to a membership, and it is a great way to get a feel for what it is like to take your normal volume of calls in an open space. If you’d like to try a day at Groundwork, you can book a tour online. Making the shift from WFH to coworking can be intimidating, but the best way to do it is to jump right in and give it a try!

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