School of Computer Science

Guidelines for Sharing Offices

Guidelines for harmony in shared offices

The offices in Computer Science for research students are all shared, so it is important to avoid behaving in a way that disturbs your office mates. Remember that the offices are provided to give you a place to work, and much of that work is always going to be quiet study. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind.


It is very easy to forget the volume of your own conversations and how much they might be affecting others' concentration.

  • Keep your voice tone down.
  • For extended conversations (related or not related to work), look for a more appropriate place to hold them, e.g. corridor, balcony, common room, meeting room or (with staff) a private office.
  • Think the same way when you visit someone else in their shared office.
  • Use your mobile phone outside study offices.
  • Use meeting rooms for Skype calls.
  • Keep doors closed when entering or leaving the room, to avoid external noise.
  • For TAs -
    • Consider booking a private room for office-hours.
    • You should only have an open-door policy if you plan to take your students to a private room.
  • Remember some of the partitions between offices are thin. Even if your own office is empty, it's easy for noise in your office to disturb people next door.


It's notoriously easy to underestimate how much your personal smell affects other people.

  • Consider consuming your food or drinks in the common room if it has a smell.
  • Make sure you and your clothes aren't smelly. This includes not only the obvious daily routine of washing, deodorant, changing clothes etc., but also things such as jackets and shoes where smell might build up over time.

Security & Privacy

Remember that it is easier for thieves to enter a shared office.

  • Always keep doors locked when the room is empty.
  • Lock laptops, handbags and other valuables away before leaving the room. Don't leave wallets in jacket pockets. You should have access to a lockable drawer.
  • Please do not use other students' property without prior permission. This includes laptops, external drives, headphones, or anything else left on their desks.

Kitchen sharing

The system is that the people who use the kitchens are expected to keep them clean and tidy - just like at home.

Clean up after you. Cloths, sponges etc. are provided.

  • Don't leave stuff in the sink for others to wash. Either clean it immediately or put it in the dishwasher. Start the dishwasher when full, and empty it when done.
  • Help bringing milk up from the LG floor when needed, and taking empty bottles back down when there is a crateful of them. Don’t leave empty milk bottles in the fridge. Rinse bottles before you put them in the crate - otherwise they can get smelly.
  • Other than milk, anything left in the fridge is private property.
  • The kitchen doors are fire doors and must never be left wedged open.

If you are unhappy with the attitude of your office mates, discuss your concerns with them. If matters are not resolved, you may want to contact the Research Students Tutor.