So, you secured your exclusive spot in that posh co-working space—the one with jaw-dropping window views of the city skyline and the most fabulous co-workers around. A co-working space offers endless possibilities for freelancers, writers and entrepreneurs. These open office spaces scream "networking" to any passerby and help busy professionals expand their business community quickly.

What you may not have considered, however, is that many co-working spaces and open offices lack privacy, and this may actually distract you, jeopardizing your productivity.  Open co-working spaces aren’t always an easy adjustment for professionals who are used to working alone in their pajamas. Don’t let this openness intimidate or distract you!

Here are some strategies for staying on track:


Image via Good Housekeeping

Signal to others that you are trying to get work done. When I’m on a deadline crunch, I put on my headphones. Although I mostly due this to jam out to my favorite Opera music, I also use this as a tactic to let others know I am trying to focus. Those around you won’t disturb you if they see ear buds in your ears. In an open office, many people may feel the need to fill silence with forced conversations. But remember—the first priority of a co-working space is offering professionals a place to get their work done. All the benefits, such as networking and co-working events, are just added perks. So, don’t feel like you are offending anyone by putting on your headphones. You aren’t ignoring them; you are just being proactive and productive.

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Use your lunch break as the perfect time to start a conversation. I encourage everyone to network and get to know their co-workers. Especially in a co-working space, knowing your co-workers is a great way to expand your business or partner with other entrepreneurs for future projects. However, I recommend networking and chatting with co-workers during your allotted lunch break. Focusing on your work first and rewarding yourself with a fun lunch break will allow you to efficiently utilize your time.

Use your co-working space and the endless networking connections to your advantage. However, don’t forget that your number one priority is to be productive at the office. If you are too busy listening to everyone else’s conversations or making small chat with neighbors, you will find yourself bringing more work home to finish than you should. So, don’t be afraid to wear your headphones or schedule conversations during your lunch break.

Do you find it hard to be productive in an open office? Chat with us on Twitter: @OfficeStylist + @myturnstone.

-Sayeh, The Office Stylist

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