Coworking in the digital economy: Context, motivations, and outcomes
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The number of self-employed, freelancers, and remote workers has risen steadily; simultaneously a range of collaborative shared workspaces – coworking spaces – has emerged rapidly in which these individuals ‘work alone together’. However, existing research is skewed towards the community aspect of coworking, treated largely as an end in itself and investigated by qualitative approaches only. We argue that this represents only a partial account of coworking. Thus in addressing the basic research question of why people who no longer need to work together apparently choose to do so (for at least part of their working lives), we delineate inputs (social and environmental factors), outputs (community, interaction and knowledge sharing) and outcomes (innovation, growth) of coworking and investigate these quantitatively for the first time. Data was collected via a questionnaire survey of coworkers across two coworking spaces in South East Wales, UK. We find that coworkers report enhanced levels of innovation, despite this typically not being an explicit motivation. Finally we discuss potential limitations of the study, possible policy implications, and fruitful areas of further research such counterfactual surveys of those presently not using coworking spaces, multivariate and longitudinal methods to further explore the causal relationships between inputs, outputs and outcomes.
Clifton, N., Füzi, A. and Loudon, G. (2019) 'Coworking in the digital economy: Context, motivations, and outcomes', Futures, p.102439. DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2019.102439.
Article published in Futures on 11 August 2019, available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2019.102439.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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