A big selling point for shared office space in conference rooms. Here are some tips you should know about demonstrating correct conduct and etiquette with suite mates.
For an attorney, especially a solo in a shared office space, conference room time is a must for law practice success. Not respecting proper conference room etiquette is both foolish and damaging to one’s potential referral stream. Being rude or unaware of proper conference room etiquette in a shared office space of lawyers kind of defeats the purpose of attaining a rental in the space.
Good behavior in any sense is obvious, but when it comes to conference room time in a shared office space it is critical. However, many still do not recognize this fact.
1. When you leave the conference room, it should be cleaner than the way you found it.
Keeping a clean area is something all lawyers should value. Things happen, and sometimes there is not enough time to do a cleaning of the space between bookings. At Law Firm Suites, conference room are often booked back-to-back on some days!
Informing reception allows one to avoid looking embarrassed if the next occupant has to clean up your mess.
2. Schedule your meetings accordingly.
Having someone walk in an important meeting never looks good to the client. What if a deposition was taking place or a client was discussing confidential divorce matters?
Conference room time should be scheduled to accommodate the meeting time so no one mistakenly walks in because it is their turn. You may be asked to leave the conference room and there is no guarantee that a conference room will be available, putting you in an awkward situation.
3. If a conference room is empty, don’t just assume it is free.
Conference rooms can be booked using various types of computer systems. Sometimes tenants even have the luxury of booking the conference room themselves and not having to go through the receptionist. If you happen to see a conference room is not being used, ask if it is available before jumping in and using it. Doing so prevents awkward situations with other tenants.
4. Don’t treat the conference room as your second office.
Large conference room tables are definitely nice to have. You can spread out, set down your Starbucks latte, and so forth. Especially when one is overloaded with paperwork, a conference room table is great.
If you have your own, by all means do it; however, if you frequent a shared office space with other attorneys, engaging in this activity will not fly whatsoever. The rooms should be used for client or staff. Work that can be accomplished at your desk should stay at your desk.
Especially in a shared space, arrangements can be made where an office or work space can be rented on a temporary basis.
5. Be aware of double booking conference rooms.
Reservation calendars are important to check and be aware of because it negates from double booking. When one happens to double book, it is important to cancel so that someone else who needs it can use it.
6. Book a room early, cancel early too.
It can be difficult to schedule a meeting with a client. Sometimes they even happen the same day! If a meeting is scheduled, make sure you book the room as soon as possible. If it’s happening days before, don’t wait until the last minute to do so. Otherwise, you could find yourself without a conference room. This is not the fault of the receptionist.
Also, when you have a cancellation, discuss with onsite staff about cancelling.
7. Enlist the help of the receptionist or the office manager if someone is encroaching on your time.
Unless there are no other options, try not to handle a conflict yourself. This may lead to hard feelings between you and the other lawyer, which may jeopardize your working relationship. Have a receptionist or the office center manager be the “bad guy.”
8. Be accommodating.
Sometimes we want the largest and grandest conference room available. Who wouldn’t?
A lot of the time it’s a good look for our clients and gives us the ego boost we need. However, if you are having a meeting for one person and book a room that can seat 20, make sure someone else with a larger party doesn’t need it and offer to use the smaller room.
It seems like a small gesture, but accommodating another suite mate can help you positively in the future.