The New Kid in the Office Block” -an investigation into the Management of Co-working Spaces

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Business, Management and Economics

Year: 2021


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The New Kid in the Office Block” -an investigation into the Management of Co-working Spaces

Valerie Mc Taggart PhD, Geraldine Barry, Esther Quinn



Waters-Lynch and Potts define coworking spaces as “shared office environments that a heterogeneous group of workers (rather than employees of a single organisation or industry) pay to use as their place of work, to engage in social interaction and sometimes collaborate on shared endeavours” (2017:421). Simply put, coworking spaces (CWS) offer an office workspace combined with a social space, away from traditional office settings (Bouncken et al.,2020).

Managed and shared workspaces are not an entirely new phenomenon, and their historical roots date back to the early 1970s with the rise of shared artist studio (Merkel 2019). They consist of various forms of contemporary open workspaces that provide shared office facilities and infrastructures to people from diverse professional backgrounds, including freelancers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, micro-enterprises, and well-established companies (Bouncken and Reuschl, 2018; Waters Lynch et al., 2016). Through this coming together of a wide variety of stakeholders, CWS can facilitate joint work, creativity, knowledge exchanges, work satisfaction and ultimately lead to increased innovation and entrepreneurship (Capdevila, 2014) as these mobile employees represent potential sources of knowledge, capabilities, information, and routines that can benefit receiving colleagues in a CWS (Rocha et al.,2018).

The purpose of this empirical study is to identify how CWS should be managed to maximise the benefit to users. Data will be collected and analysed using the principles of the grounded theory methodology approach (GTM) advocated by Corbin and Strauss (1967) and Strauss and Corbin (1998).

Keywords: Coworking spaces, CWS, Digital Hubs, Shared working spaces, Remote Working.