Coworking Code of Conduct

Cobot is committed to maintaining an atmosphere of creativity and inclusion and to bringing the diversity of our industry to the forefront. We propose the following Code of Conduct as a template that you can use and modify for your own coworking events, and we’d be happy to provide more resources for anyone interested. We believe that everyone who participates in coworking events deserves respect and an experience free from harassment or discrimination. Likewise, everyone also deserves a clear and direct way to report and deal with any form of harassment, discrimination, or other grievances, whether it involves other participants, sponsors, organizers, speakers, or staff. Please reach out to us at [communication@cobot.me] with any suggestions, or if you wish to support us and add your name/logo to our list. We want to hear from you!

Template

Purpose

[Organization] is committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religious affiliation. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Event participants violating these rules may face consequences including, but not limited to, expulsion from the event without a refund. By attending this event, you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines. We expect our community to help us realize a safe and positive experience for everyone.

What Constitutes Harassment

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal comments that reinforce discrimination based on gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion.
  • Sexually-charged jokes, statements, or comments.
  • Creation or display of sexual images in public spaces.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or unwanted following.
  • Harassing photography or video/audio recording.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Inappropriate physical contact.
  • Invasion of personal space.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

These behaviors, as well as others described below, are not conducive to a welcoming environment and are therefore prohibited from this event.

Enforcement

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, event organizers retain the right to take action in order to maintain a welcoming environment for other participants. This includes warnings, expulsion from the conference without a refund, or other measures deemed appropriate. Event organizers are authorized to address anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, making the environment hostile for any participants. We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities, and we encourage participants to follow these guidelines outside of event-sanctioned activities.

Reporting

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, we encourage you to report it as soon as possible. Event staff will be identifiable by their attire or badges, and they will be instructed on how to respond to harassment. All claims are taken seriously and will be handled by event organizers or dedicated staff. You can make a report either personally or anonymously, both detailed below.

Anonymous Report

[Organization] will set up an online form to report harassment HERE [include link to form]. We promise to fully investigate and act on information we receive through anonymous reporting.

Personal Report

You can make a personal report by: Contacting an [organizer] member, identified by their outfit/badge. Emailing us: [email]. Calling us: There will be a hotline available during the conference to call at [#]. When taking a personal report, our staff will make sure that we discuss your issue privately and securely. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. At this point, we will ask you to go over the details of the harassment. This can be a difficult process, but we’ll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you are welcome to bring someone with you for support. We will never ask you to confront someone, and we will not relay your name or information to the accused. Our team will be happy to put you in touch with security, law enforcement, or any other local services you request. We want you to feel safe and comfortable. Your attendance is important to us.

Important Contact Numbers

Police: [depends on venue] Medical Emergency:[depends on venue]

Photo Policy

All event photographers will seek to obtain permission for reposting. Participants are free to ask that photographs of themselves are withheld from any promotional materials. To maintain privacy and personal boundaries, all participants must ask before taking any photographs that are clearly meant to highlight a small group or single person.

Inclusive Language

As language is both a reflection of and a contributor towards culture, we do ask that all participants use language that demonstrates the best aspects of coworking culture and avoid language that could alienate or disparage others. This means we ask that you follow these guidelines for what constitutes disrespectful language.

General Guidelines

There is no place at this event for language that is openly or casually degrading to a person or group. Any words or phrases, no matter how seemingly innocuous, that perpetuate negative stereotypes and communicate exclusion are not allowed. Some of these can be subtle and said without any ill-will, which is why we encourage participants to examine their own language and use this guide as an opportunity for learning. For some examples of language that we are trying to avoid, please see the below examples.

Racism

Racism is deeply rooted across societies globally, exists among all social classes, and is connected to a long history of violence, oppression, and domination. Addressing individuals or a group of people in a diminutive, derogative, or malicious way based on their (assumed) race and ethnic background is racist, disrespectful, and harmful. We do not tolerate any racist behavior, slurs, statements, or jokes.

Ableism

Words like “crazy,” “dumb,” “insane,” or “lame” are examples of language that devalues people who have physical or mental disabilities. Many people use these words not because they seek to be hurtful, but because they are attempting to describe something they perceive to be outside of the norm, which reinforces harmful stereotypes and impacts real people. Instead, try to broaden your vocabulary and find ways to express yourself that are more appropriate, inclusive, and elegant.

Sexism

We strongly advise avoiding gendered pronouns as well as any gendered terms. Everyone is expected to respect each other’s chosen pronouns. Try to avoid using words like “dude” or “guys” to address groups. This shorthand contributes to linguistic barriers that drive exclusion and an unwelcoming environment.

Mediation

If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify staff or an event organizer with a concise description of your grievance. Your grievance will be handled in accordance with [organization]’s existing governance policies.

Attribution

This Code of Conduct was adapted from CSSconf EU, Berlin Code of Conduct, co.up, JSConf AU, The Geek Feminism wiki, Valerie Aurora, and the Conference Code of Conduct.

Supporters

The following events, communities, and companies have adapted this Code of Conduct: