Why do people use a coworking space? While some may join a coworking center to benefit from networking and collaboration opportunities and others might sign up to keep their overhead low, everyone who’s part of a coworking space shares one objective – to get some work done.
Many people who frequent a coworking space view the center as their primary place of business. Even though coworking centers typically differ from traditional office environments in many key ways, they’re still business centers professionals use to make a living. While shared space is the backbone of a coworking center, many users still view their designated workspaces as they would a private office.
Given that common point of view, many coworking center managers wonder if they should establish and enforce a dress code at their location. This is a tricky question because your “tenants” wouldn’t have to abide by a dress code if they leased or purchased permanent office space of their own unless they implemented one themselves.
So, is it reasonable to impose formal rules regarding appropriate attire on people who have the option of not following them simply by changing their work location? While some of your tenants may enjoy guidelines regarding dress because it sets a common standard, others may rally against a formal dress code because they enjoy a more casual work environment.
Set an Example
Luckily, there are certain things you can do as a manager to establish and maintain an unwritten dress code for your coworking center. The most important thing you can do to establish an informal dress code is to set the example for how people are expected to dress when they work in your center.
It’s not realistic to expect your tenants to wear business attire if you show up to work every day wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and boat shoes. If you want your tenants to dress in formal business clothes, you should wear them yourself.
Set and Communicate Limits
Even if you’re content letting your tenants wear whatever they want to, you still need to set and enforce certain limits in the context of decency. If someone is dressed in clothes that are simply too revealing and the person’s attire is making other tenants uncomfortable, you need to address the situation without causing embarrassment or creating a scene.
Remember – people cannot adhere to limits if they don’t know what they are. When you’re interviewing people who want to join your coworking space, casually communicate the limits you have for over-the-top clothing without implying that your location is overly restrictive.
An effective tactic for setting the standard for dress is to provide your members with an article of appropriate clothing that has your center’s logo on it. Whether it’s a blazer, blouse, shorts or t-shirt, give your members something that represents how they should dress when they’re in your coworking center. This will not only communicate the dress code, it will also help your members feel like they’re part of a community.
At SharedSpace, our community includes a mix of freelancers, startups, and established businesses. With many different kinds of workers at our location, SharedSpace provides a relaxed, productive environment where people benefit from being part of a closely-knit community where collaboration is king.
Whether you dress formally or informally, you’ll always be welcome at our Atlanta, GA coworking center, where you’ll be in touch with like-minded, serious professionals and you’ll get support from our dedicated team. Learn more about the SharedSpace community now!