I was at a co-working space, Daddy.O in Woodstock, Cape Town. (They’re not paying me to say this but it’s a great space to work in). To the Matty Cohen saga. So, I got a great spot / desk.

Because I had challenges with my wi-fi code, I left my backpack on the desk and I stood up. Walking back to my, or at least what I thought was my desk, there was a WooThemes ninja, Matty Cohen!

Matty is a great guy. I hate to move him or be that whining guy we love to hate. He was engaged in an obivously scintillating conversation with another guy, all the while still sitting at my desk! So, What do you do when Matty Cohen takes your seat?

Matt is not mean or anything; he is understanding.

With co-working spaces becoming a norm, if this hasn’t happened to you, it is likely to happen at some point. What do you do when someone takes your spot in a co-working environment? Here are some suggestions to dealing with your Matty:


One of the best ways to dealing with such things is not to do anything about it. This is not about being ‘confrotation averse’ it’s more to do with what it is worth. Don’t pick a fight if you don’t have to. I’m not saying that by confronting you’re picking a fight… All I’m saying is assess whether it is really worth making an issue out of it.


Great co-working spaces have more than one type of space. Couches, standing desks, bean bags and stuff… For goodness sake just move to another space! Your focus and work is way more important, find another spot and continue with your work. Period.


Test the waters. Say, “hi” to your Matty and if he / she seems open to conversation find out a little more about them. Who knows, you could have something in common. I’ve met some people and heard many stories of great partnerships that started that way. Don’t be myopic or egotistical.

My Spot

I only go the ‘confrotation route’ if it advances my cause. Only confront or try taking back your spot only if it is the only option you have. If or when you choose this option, don’t be a jerk about it. Rather err on the side of being polite, even if you’re not in the wrong (whatever that means).

Your character and reputation can get trashed easily, all over a stupid working spot! Place more value on your reputation and good name… Is it worth a tantrum show?

Be polite and let your Matty know that you were there before. As in my case, he is likely to apologize and move. If he doesn’t just make another plan and focus on what you really got there for.

Your mission is too important to allow yourself to be sidetracked by a Matty…

(Note To Matty: Thanks for being a great guy and just being nice…)

Published by Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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  1. Hey, I am that… ‘other guy’ :p In the emerging world of co-working spaces, my advise if you want to keep your seat, buy a fart cushion, its old school but effective and just plain fun man!!! ;-)