There’s nothing like the camaraderie of working in a coworking space. But what happens when conflicts arise between coworkers? Disagreements are bound to ensue at some point, whether they’re about noise levels, work styles, or office politics. And the question that comes to mind at such a time is how to manage and resolve conflicts without ruining the coworking experience for everyone involved.
Well, in such situations, it may seem challenging to stay calm, but it’s important to remember that the goal is to resolve the conflict in a way that is respectful and beneficial to all parties involved. With that said, here are some major tips on how you can manage and resolve conflicts in coworking spaces:
Why do Conflicts Arise?
There might not be any particular reason why conflicts arise. However, the most common ones are as follows:
Different Work Styles: It’s not uncommon for people to have different working styles. Some people enjoy working in silence, while others may need music or background noise to concentrate. And when these two types of people are placed in the same coworking space, it can lead to conflict.
Unclear Expectations: When no clear expectations are set from the beginning, it can lead to a conflict down the road. For example, if one person is working on a project requiring absolute silence and another is playing music loudly, it can lead to issues.
Allocation of Resources: Another common source of contention is the allocation of resources. For example, if only a limited number of desks are available and someone uses more than one, it can lead to conflict. Or in the kitchen, if someone takes more than their fair share of coffee or food, it can have the same negative outcome.
Not following rules and regulations: Most top-rated coworking spaces have a set of rules and regulations to ensure everyone has a good experience. But when someone breaks these rules, it can lead to conflict. For example, if someone is making too much noise or not cleaning up after themselves, it can create some problems.
How to Manage and Resolve Conflicts
Now that we know some of the reasons why conflicts may arise, let’s take a look at how you can manage and resolve them:
Understand the origin of the issue
In most cases, people concentrate on arguing with others without knowing the exact reason for the conflicts. In such cases, it is better to take a step back and understand the actual problem. Once you know what the problem is, it becomes much easier to find a resolution. Moreover, it is also essential to remember that the aim is not to win an argument but to resolve the conflict in a way that is respectful and beneficial to all parties involved.
Communicate openly and honestly
When it comes to conflict resolution, communication is key. You need to be able to communicate openly and honestly with the other person or persons involved in the conflict. This means being compliant and listening to what the other person has to say. Only by expressing openly and honestly will you be able to find a resolution that is acceptable for everyone involved.
Be willing to compromise
In numerous cases, conflicts can be resolved by simply being willing to compromise. For example, if two people are arguing over noise levels, one person may be willing to wear headphones while working. Or, if two people are arguing over work styles, others may be willing to work in a different area of the coworking space. By being willing to compromise, you can often find a resolution that is acceptable to all parties involved.
Seek help from a neutral third party
If you’re unable to resolve the conflict on your own, you may need to seek help from a neutral third party. This could be a coworking space manager or another member of the coworking community. A neutral third party can help to mediate the situation and find a resolution that is acceptable to all parties involved.
Keep it professional
It’s important to know that, even though you are coworkers, you are still professional colleagues. This means that you should try to resolve conflicts in a professional manner by being respectful and avoiding personal attacks. By keeping it professional, you can maintain a good working relationship with the other person or persons involved in the conflict.
Don’t let anger take over
During a conflict, you may be angry, but you should never let anger take over. This will only make the situation worse and make it more difficult to find a resolution. It’s important to stay calm and constructive when communicating with the other person or persons involved in the conflict.
Never indulge in mayhem
In some circumstances, people may be tempted to resort to violence or threats of violence when resolving a conflict. This is never an acceptable solution and will only make the situation worse. If you feel like things are getting out of hand, it’s important to step away and seek help from a neutral third party.
Focus on areas of agreement
In many cases, people will focus on the areas where they disagree when trying to resolve a conflict. However, it’s important to remember that there are also areas where you agree. Focusing on these areas of agreement can help to find a resolution that is acceptable to all parties involved. It’s also crucial to note that the aim isn’t to win an argument; it’s to solve a problem in a mutually beneficial way.
Don’t ignore the conflict
Some people may try to ignore the conflict in hopes that it will go away on its own. However, this is usually not the case. Ignoring a conflict will only make it worse and more difficult to resolve. It’s important to face the conflict head-on and communicate openly and honestly with the other person or persons involved.
Make use of conflict resolution policy
As coworking spaces are becoming the best bet for the future of hybrid work, the spaces are also focusing on things that are different from the norm. Conflict resolution policy is one of them. If your coworking space has a conflict resolution policy, be sure to make use of it. This can help to deliver structure and guidance when trying to resolve a conflict. It can also help to ensure that the conflict is resolved in a fair and impartial manner. If your coworking space doesn’t have a conflict resolution policy, you may want to suggest that one be put in place.
There are different ways to manage and resolve conflicts in coworking spaces. It’s important to remember that, in most cases, the best way to resolve a conflict is by communicating openly and honestly with the other person or persons involved. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that conflicts are resolved in a fair and productive manner.