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Protocol for Taking Phone Calls in a Coworking Space

Truth be told, co-working spaces are not always as quiet as private offices. However, there’s a massive difference between the background noise of tapping feet or keyboards when compared to someone talking on the phone. Yes, everyone is allowed to take phone calls in a co-working space, but there are some factors necessary to consider.

For instance, some spaces have phone booths. These are small enclosed rooms that are specifically made for phone calls.

Other spaces might have a specific area designated for making phone calls. Note that on quieter days, you can choose to reserve a room or sit in the café area to take a call, but on busy days, you may take the call right at your desk as your voice will align well with the background noise.

However, you must have a level of self-awareness when you are in a shared work environment. If you have no idea how loud you are, you should ask someone around. This shows that you are considerate and eager to do better.

But if you realize you have a booming voice or plan to be on the phone for longer than 10-15 minutes, then you must book a room or grab a phone booth. Co-working space protocols and etiquette aren’t something people are conversant with. Agreeably, the transient nature of co-working spaces can make anyone less bothered with how others in the space feel.

Yet, there are numerous pros of being considerate and respectful in your co-working space. For instance, being respectful to your coworkers will make them respect you, and this respect will make it a lot easier to collaborate and obtain crucial referrals in the future.

Basic Protocols and Etiquette of Taking Phone Calls in a Co-working Space

Just like with any successful business, a vibrant co-working space will depend on a code of conduct, which can be either understood or explicitly laid out. The most basic expectations in co-working spaces are simple and the key is to ensure that everyone stays happy. Nonetheless, if you’re new to the world of co-working, here are protocols and etiquettes for taking phone calls.

  1. Don’t Take Personal Conversations

Truth be told, humans have this natural affinity for gossip, and we have a sixth sense for when anyone close is discussing something enticing in the workplace. Although work calls and meeting jargon can easily be tuned out, personal issues will 8 out of 10 times draw everybody’s attention.

In terms of taking phone calls in a co-working space, avoid personal conversations and leave them for when you get home. That way, you will spare yourself the embarrassment, and also save everyone else the distraction of your juicy gist.

  1. Wear Headphones

This is very necessary when taking phone calls in a co-working space. While your voice might blend into the ambient noise of the co-working space, other voices flowing over from your Zoom or phone will not. Owing to that, if you want to be the least annoying person in the space, then you should always use a headphone.

If you forgot your headphones at home, then consider booking a room or a phone booth and spare everybody the annoyance of listening to your entire meeting.

  1. Understand The Space Noise Policy

Note that what one space or person considers acceptable background noise might be found distracting in another space, even within the same facility. When it comes to co-working, always consider the amount of noise you are creating.

Aside from making calls, heavy footsteps, letting doors bang, and having music blasting from your headphones can be disturbing in some places; therefore you need to keep things in check. Find out what the noise policy is at your coworking space and stick to it.

  1. Keep It Short

No matter how quiet you try to be, a phone call can still be disruptive to other co-workers. In such co-working spaces, you can show respect by keeping your calls short. Agreeably, sometimes a quick two-minute call can be more productive than a bunch of emails or a string of short chats.

However, just like you, other members in the space have a business to run and need to be efficient with their time. And while no one will fault you for taking a two-minute call, have it in mind that an hour-long sales call in the middle of a public work area is not in any way ethical.

  1. Choose Other Locations

For those with customized or private offices, you should consider shutting your door to take personal calls. If you don’t have a door or are in an open-plan space, then ensure to keep your private calls short, or better still move to an area that is more conducive to personal calls.

Do not use a conference room to take long personal calls or treat it as your personal office. Loitering and squatting are for the gym—not for co-working spaces.

  1. Use Indoor Voices

You must realize that it is possible to be heard by the person on the other line without shouting like you are speaking to a crowd of 150.

Note that making use of a soft speaking voice will demonstrate to fellow co-working members that you are being courteous and respectful. They know they’re in a public space and complete silence is out of the question. But keeping a respectful decibel level while on the phone will help maintain goodwill in the co-working space.

  1. Book A Phone Booth

Co-working spaces are becoming aware of the issue of noise with phone calls, so some of them are beginning to create small phone booths (also known as call booths or call rooms) for people to take a call.

These booths let members speak at whatever sound level they want without having to bother about disturbing others. Also note that these rooms can also do away with the externality of loud phone calls, and overbooked conference rooms.

  1. Don’t Take It Personally

Lastly, if a community manager or coworker requests that you tone it down a little, try not to take it personally. Always have it in mind that you are in a shared workspace, and try to be appreciative of the fact that they are willing to help you understand the expectations and protocols of that space.

If you work in an open office space and professional phone calls distract you, also remember that it is probably not the person’s intention to bother you. Try to be understanding of the situation and keep a good pair of headphones nearby.


Co-working spaces are a much more pleasant place to work when everyone abides by certain community protocols and rules. The golden rule of co-working is to be considerate and courteous. Always consider how your actions will make others feel.

If as a newcomer you don’t know about the protocols or rules of the space, then you must ask. Note that most staff and regulars will be happy to help.