Here’s the answer I wrote when somebody asked a question like this on Quora, which was one member asking about how to deal with another member.
“It’s not a matter of “common” or “uncommon”, in my experience this sounds less like it has anything to do with phone calls and more to do with people being inconsiderate of the people they’re sitting around…or more often, simply unaware.
When we have this issue at Indy Hall (a member may approach us, much like you’ve approached Quora), our first question is: do you know the person/people who’s bothering you? If you don’t know their name, odds are they don’t know yours and if you don’t even know each others’ names, you’re never going to be considerate of each other. Start there, by simply getting to know each other as neighbors.
From there, it’s much easier to say “hey, when you take calls from your desk it can be really disruptive to me and the people around you. if you found a place that isn’t surrounded by people, you’d probably find it easier to talk quietly and it’d be less distracting to others.”
Most of the time, people don’t even realize they’re bothering anyone, and are happy that you said something. “Oh maybe THATS why people always seem annoyed with me!” You’d be surprised how many people are simply not aware of their surroundings.
And if they don’t respond, or respond poorly…find a new coworking space.”
The shorter answer, is that no, there isn’t an ‘easy’ solution because the easy solution is avoidance…which is about the worst example you can set for your community about how to handle problems.
You already know what you have to do, but you’re avoiding doing it because losing a single member would hurt right now. That’s true, but losing more members over the long haul is going to hurt a lot more.
The easiest way to think about this is to set the expectations with your members that part of sharing space means looking after three things:
If this person doesn’t know that they’re being disruptive, then it’s your (and every member’s) responsibility to help by looking after for them. If they DO know they’re being disruptive, they’re not looking after themselves. Either way, that courtesy goes a LONG way to reminding people how to be mindful of each other.
On Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM, Jensen Yancey [email protected] wrote:
We’re a relatively new coworking office and have run in to a bit of an issue that I’m sure lots of you have had to deal with before. The whole office is open plan, just one big room, and the majority of the time there will be about 5-8 people in the space, sometimes there will be multiple conversations going but it’s usually pretty quiet. We have one person who’s very nice and polite, except for the fact that he is prone to have extremely long phone conversations at his desk (almost always 30+ minutes) and I have no idea what to do about it. On the one hand, nobody has said anything to me about it, so it’s entirely possible that I’m the only person he bothers and we don’t really have a good alternative to offer him since these phone calls seem to be an important part of his job, so if we make it an issue, I imagine he would leave and losing any member right now is really going to hurt. On the other hand, I’m worried that he’s really impacting the experience for everyone else and they’re just building up resentment without wanting to say anything.
Are there any easy solutions to this?
Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.