The rise of coworking spaces has brought about the emergence of a whole new dynamic in the workplace. It can be tricky to navigate interpersonal office interactions in the most familiar of circumstances, and coworking inherently adds to the mix of personalities and cultures you will encounter. Throw in an international setting like Malaysia with its unique business culture and the situation is ripe for a faux pas.
With a little research and practice, you will be able to integrate seamlessly into the coworking culture of Malaysia. Here, we have assembled a general guide of the most important points to be aware of before heading into your new coworking space. Keep these in mind and you will be ready to get down to business.
Let’s take a closer look at some points you need to keep in mind when coworking in Malaysia.
Many of the coworking rules that would typically apply in any office space around the world also apply to the Malaysian context. These rules include being mindful of your speaking volume when others around you are trying to focus on their work as well as not talking extensively on your phone if you are in close proximity to other colleagues. It can be helpful to use a premium coworking space provider who can provide you with a receptionist service to field any calls that you might need to take while in the office.
It is important to be friendly and amicable with your Malaysian coworking companions. One of the real advantages of coworking spaces is the opportunity to network and meet like-minded professionals. During downtimes and breaks, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to your colleagues and make the effort to get to know them. In doing so, you will likely be able to expand your international network and establish yourself within the local business scene.
Remember that business relationships are highly important in Malaysia. The nature of the relationship itself is often valued far more than any individual point of discussion. Keep this in mind when collaborating and discussing new projects with your Malaysian colleagues.
Using your common sense when it comes to personal hygiene and daily habits can go a long way towards contributing to a positive and healthy work environment. Coworking spaces can bring people of diverse backgrounds together, which is one of its biggest advantages, however, the opportunity for misunderstanding can also be higher. Make sure to clean up after yourself and present yourself professionally while in the coworking space. You may or may not already be aware that lunch hour is almost sacred in Malaysia, so you will have time to prepare a proper meal during your breaks. Just remember to clean up your shared food preparation space for the next person to use.
With shared spaces, there will likely be an established schedule for the use of meeting rooms and office equipment. Make sure to keep to the timetable outlined and agreed upon collectively in your coworking space. This will prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts that could otherwise harm the dynamic of a positive coworking environment. It can help immensely to choose a coworking space provider that includes in-house IT support with the coworking package. This can ensure that all of your operations run smoothly even if you run into any technical difficulties along the way.
While the Malaysian business culture has some unique features to it, you will be well able to fit in with your coworking colleagues if you exercise some common sense. Etiquette is mostly about thinking of how other people would like to be treated. Considering others’ needs and expectations will take you places – in Malaysia and anywhere.