Sharing work space with a coworker and striving to be productive while also avoiding grating on each other’s nerves can be wearisome.
Coping demands self-awareness and practicing common courtesies.
Four rules for working in close quarters can help.
- Accept that conflicts will naturally arise periodically. This will help prevent your overreaction to them.
- Conflicts are opportunities to know your coworker better and become closer when they are resolved.
- Minimize frequency of conflict by not allowing irritations to compound. Discuss the small stuff.
- Maintain good hygiene, orderliness, and boundaries. This is the “trilogy” of shared-space harmony.
These boundaries aren’t about physical location, but anything touching on sounds, smells, privacy, or matters associated with resource sharing, compromise, and negotiation.
Source: UTEAP FrontLine Employee (October 2014)
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