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Avoiding Distractions in Coworking Spaces – A Clockwise Guide

Whether hot-desking or hybrid working, how do you avoid distractions now you’ve returned to the office?


With parcel deliveries, daytime TV and attention-seeking cats, we don’t think anybody would claim that working from home was without distractions.

However, they were distractions we all got used to after a year and a half of WFH; now it’s keeping focus in the shared workspace that is proving more difficult.

In a YouGov 2020 report, the overwhelming majority of workers stated that they’d prefer to remain working from home after the pandemic. Despite this, most offices are in the process of reopening albeit in a very different shape to their pre-Covid form.

Where there was once a rigid traditional office model, there is now hybrid working and hot-desking. Whilst there may not be the same expectations of workers as the ones we held tightly to for the last couple of hundred years, a world of set working hours and fixed locations, most companies still want some sort of face-time with their team. Now for some companies, it’s just about figuring out how to work together in coworking spaces to get the job done.

After such a substantial time away, how to keep focused on the task at hand when the sounds, sights (and even lunch smells) of others surround you?

Whether hot-desking or hybrid working, here are our top tips for staying on task in this new world.

Communication – Simply put, speak to your team. You’ve all been in a similar position for the last year and a half and will probably be experiencing the same anxieties or frustrations about the return to the office. Communication is key to figuring out how this can best work for all of you.

Leverage your commute – A topic so important that Clockwise CEO Alexandra Brunner wrote an entire article about it. Let’s Grow Leaders suggests using this time to ‘work on your personal development, make a few calls (safely) to catch up with colleagues or friends, or even just have the white space to think quietly about the day and week ahead.’ You may find you’ve made a dent in your scheduled tasks before even stepping foot through the door of your shared workspace.

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Organise your space- Tidy house, tidy mind so the adage goes. This extends to your working space too. Whatever your working style, get your surroundings to a place that facilitates deep focus when you need it. Noise-cancelling headphones are a great addition to shared workspaces, not only do they shut out your surroundings but they also signal to others when you aren’t available to talk.

Take breaks- Distractions are inevitable so make sure you slot in space for some. Close the laptop and take yourself off to the breakout areas for a coffee, chats, snacks and to check messages and socials on the personal phone you’ve been cleverly leaving in your drawer during work time.

Break up the day- You’ve probably heard of the Pomodoro technique, the iconic time management method. Since the 1980s, this technique, alongside the many others that have popped up, has been helping people break their days up into small, manageable parts or ‘pomodoros’. Using this method, you can block out distractions, get into some serious deep focus and schedule your quiet hours whilst allowing for the much-needed breaks. This ‘one thing at a time’ approach can be incredibly beneficial when hot-desking or hybrid working without the natural rhythm that the more traditional way of working sets after a while of doing it.

We want to help make the transition back to the office as smooth as possible. With Clockwise, you will not only have access to breakouts rooms and wellbeing programmes but we can even create bespoke office plans to help you make the best out of the many positives of coworking- let’s keep unwanted distractions to a minimum. Find out more about our flexible memberships here.

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