Our expectations for Identification Management, Noise Management and Security Management at The Start Society
Our identification requirements are in place to protect all members, security is only as good as the weakest link so we are relatively inflexible in this area. Below we also cover some common professional courtesy expectations and common guidelines.
- Companies/founders should apply online and individual members (all people in all teams no exceptions) also need to complete a separate form as part of the standard welcome and on boarding process.
- We have a ‘no strangers’ policy at StartSoc, this is to encourage people to meet and get hyper connected so they can learn from each other. It is also good for security. So introduce yourself and your guests every chance you get, we are all advocates for each other’s startup too so you might even score a customer, partner or future employee.
- Guests should register at reception, usually there is an iPad or paper form. Usually there will be a sticker or even a sticker printer that can produce name badges to be used by guests. Please use these as required and encourage your guests to do the same, it allows us all to know and be extra welcoming and also aware for security.
- We understand guests can sometimes be confidential, that is fine. It should also be the exception since this is a community space by nature you should probably consider other venues if you need to have ultra private meetings.
- After paying your first invoice, please provide bank proof of payment receipt via email (or allow time for funds to clear) before coming in to pick up your access card. Please bring photo id with you when collecting your access card and choosing a desk. We will also take your photo and a copy of your Id. Please contact us well in advance to arrange a time for these items.
- Drivers licence with photo or passport are the main forms of identification we accept for new members prior to issuing access cards. Other methods by agreement but these are the exception, we need written proof of identity and address in all cases.
- Please ensure you keep us up to date with contact detail changes for yourself and your team for example full name, mobile, work email, personal email, company name changes etc… Just complete the on boarding individual form again.
Noise, Calls and Meetings Guidelines
- Adjust your volume. There is an interesting psychology around phone calls where a small percentage of the population actually increases their voice volume when making calls. This is a straightforward training issue and anyone can learn to speak quieter not louder on calls if you just remind them. Remember, your microphone (when using headsets on your mobile phone or Skype or similar calling software) is only a few centimetres from your mouth, people who are 5m+ away do not need to hear your conversation so adjust your voice volume down accordingly.
- Desks are not for meetings or calls. As a strong guideline, meetings with guests should not be held in desk areas, meetings should be limited to 2-3 guests per member max for 2-3 hours max and should be moved to common areas like the kitchen, the auditorium, the outside areas (verandah) or other meeting spaces. This is for practical utilisation reasons and for noise reasons, if you have guests or a team meeting you probably want to talk. So grab a wireless laptop and go do it elsewhere not at your desk.
- Meetings and calls in common areas. Team meetings with or without guests should generally be moved to commons areas. Talking for an extended period at your desks is always going to impact your neighbours so keep it to a minimum. This is a professional courtesy between coworking neighbours and a minimum expectation. Consider it pretty much mandatory unless you have an expected visitor or need arise. Same applies for phone calls , generally it is just as easy to get up and take your laptop to a common area.
- Interruptions impact productivity. The cost of interruptions in the work place is much higher than most of us realise. For a programmer changing a 500 line program, particularly complex/nested code, the time cost is equal to the time taken to comprehend it and get it into their head. So a 30 second interruption can actually costs someone 30 minutes or more of concentration. Still don’t believe us? Read more about this from Life Hacker and Fast Company.
- Headphones really help. If you don’t want to be interrupted then please wear headphones. Music with instruments but without voices and at a particular set of tempos has been shown to improve concentration and remove distractions. If you see someone wearing headphones they probably don’t want to be interrupted so just don’t. It might sound weird but send them an email or meeting invite for another time. In the western world it is often acceptable to go up to people and talk if they are at their desk, in other cultures however they recognise that people at their desks are working and explicitly do not interrupt unless invited to do so.
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