Coworking spaces and workplaces of the future: Critical perspectives on community, context and change

Jennifer Johns, Edward Yates, Greig Charnock, Frederick Harry Pitts, Ödül Bozkurt, Didem Derya and Ozdemir Kaya (2024), European Mangement Review

The last decade has witnessed increased demand by employers and workers for greater flexibility, especially regarding remote and hybrid work. There has therefore been a substantial increase in academic interest in coworking, including within business and management studies. We conduct a systematic literature review of research on coworking and coworking spaces (CWS) to argue this field is now sufficiently developed to merit recognition as an important element of discussion surrounding workplaces of the future. We outline the core themes in coworking research and identify three key research weaknesses relating to common understandings of community, context and change. The article then advances a future research agenda based on two avenues of enquiry. First, greater attention needs to be paid to the value propositions of CWS as businesses. Second, the concept of embeddedness should be used to better understand CWS in their local and national contexts, and we argue for a broader, place-based analytical focus on CWS. We present two possible future scenarios for CWS, based on opposing forces of homogenisation and differentiation, and we outline their relevance for further debate surrounding workplaces of the future.

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