Does everyone secretly hate you? Coworking faux pas to avoid

May 23, 2016

The coworking explosion has taken a lot of us by surprise. Just a couple of years ago, the very concept of sharing office space was foreign. Today, WeWork is a multi-billion dollar empire, with competitors everywhere. Working in a coworking space in 2016 is almost an entrepreneurial right-of-passage. 

But, since the whole coworking thing is so new, there is a lack of established norms in regards to suitable behavior. Sure, we all know not to microwave fish in the communal kitchen, but what about all the things we think are ok, but are really pissing off everyone around us? Ask anyone who spends a lot of time in a coworking space and they're bound to have some very specific pet-peeves. 

We caught up with three coworking veterans — the sorts of people who have soldiered through all sorts of coworking headaches — and asked them what their pet peeves were. 


Which coworking space do you work in? 

Nisha Garigarn, cofounder at 

: I can't sit still, so I work from a couple. My mainstays are Rise, Workville, and The Farm. Pro tip: the avocado toast at Rise Cafe makes for a great breakfast.

Scott Dunn, cofounder and CEO at 

: WeWork

Beatrice Leung, Communications Manager at 

: I work from a few; in New York I visit WeWork and Techstars and in Colorado I visit Galvanize or the Handshakin Headquarters. 


What is your biggest coworking pet-peeve? 

Nisha: It's a little disconcerting to turn around in your seat and see a small child walking around. Whose child is this? Shouldn't they be at school? Something about it just doesn't feel right.

Scott: When people don't say thank you nor acknowledge you when holding the door open for them.

Beatrice: Empty cartons in the fridge! It's quite the let down when you find the last carton of milk, just to realize it's empty. Co-working friends, please toss out the empty cartons and save us all from false hope. 


What is your favorite part of working in a coworking space?

Nisha: Unlimited coffee and tea at the ready, and the possibility of a serendipitous encounter with someone smart and interesting.

Scott: The palpable energy. I feed off of good vibes and it, in turn, translates into better and more-efficient work for me.

Beatrice: Working in a co-working space gives you the opportunity to connect with people outside of your space, different roles and often create new friendships. Casual attire, startup vibe and unique culture really eases your nerves when reaching out to collaborate, gather feedback and make new connections. The adorable puppies are definitely a plus.


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