Imagine that you have the choice between working in an open-plan office with plenty of co-working space or an office chock full of cubicles. Of course, we already know which one you’re going to pick! In today’s world, co-working spaces are the norm, rather than the exception.

No matter whether you work for yourself as a freelancer or you work for a company as an employee, you should already know the benefits of this. Co-working spaces help to spark creativity, encourage collaboration among people, and improve employee motivation and engagement.
However, if you’ve ever worked in an open office, you’re aware of the drawbacks. That employee typing too loud in the corner or a couple of people chatting away at the table next to you can distract from the important work in front of you. You need to be prepared to stay productive if you want to get anything done in these spaces! Here are the best ways you can do just that.

Keep Your Headphones On
OK, so we know that a lot of people aren’t into listening to music when working. But even if you’re not going to be listening to your favourite playlist, keep those headphones on! In the co-working world, headphones are a key signal that you’re doing important work and shouldn’t be disturbed.

They drastically reduce the chance that one of your co-workers will come up and disturb you. Plus, your headphones are going to cut down on at least some of that noise around you!

Designate Specific Spaces
If you are in the position to change up your office space, then this is a key lesson for you. Even if your office has an open floor plan and tons of co-working space, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be specific spaces for specific uses.

You can designate spaces within and outside of the co-working area that should be used for one-on-one conversations or where employees need a little bit more privacy. For example, if an employee has a very important call with a new client, this should be done in a closed room, rather than the louder open space.

Use a Time-Tracker
As a freelancer or an employee working in an open office space, the distractions are abundant. You might be spending way too much of your time speaking with other people around you or you might just spend too long scrolling through Instagram, rather than working.

A great way to fix this is to use a time-tracker during your workday. This is going to measure exactly how much time you’re spending on certain tasks, showing you areas of improvement.

Just Move!
The fact of the matter is it’s up to you to be productive when working in co-working spaces. And the all-time easiest and most effective way to do that is to turn your chair or desk around and face away from the distractions.

If you’re working in a co-working space and a group of people are being rowdy near you, either move to another space or face away from them. The simple movement to put the distractions out of your vision is going to do wonders for your productivity levels.

Stay Away from Impromptu Meetings
And lastly, even though co-working spaces are designed with collaboration in mind, impromptu meetings can be a death blow to your productivity.

One of your coworkers comes over to ask you a question or get your advice on something and the next thing you know, you’ve been dragged into a 30-minute meeting that puts you off track. Schedule meetings in your planner, rather than taking them on the spot.

Your Productivity is up to You
At the end of the day, you determine how productive you’re going to be. Even if your surrounding environment is pretty distracting, use the above tips to stay on task and cross off those items on your to-do list!

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