Coworking communities as enablers of thriving at work

Authored by: Gretchen Spreitzer , Peter Bacevice , Lyndon Garrett

The Routledge Companion to Wellbeing at Work

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138955943
eBook ISBN: 9781315665979
Adobe ISBN:


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We’ve been studying what enables people to thrive at work for the last 10 years. Our research made an interesting turn a couple years ago when an alumnus contacted us after learning of our program of research on human thriving at work. He suggested if we wanted to learn about how organizations can enable higher levels of thriving at work, we should be studying coworking spaces. Our initial response was, “What in the world are coworking spaces?” We were not familiar with the new organizational form – a kind of collaborative workspace for freelance and remote workers to join in a professional work community. We were intrigued because while past research on thriving at work has focused on examining organizational factors that promote thriving in traditional workplaces, where employees have limited control over when, where, and with whom they work, coworking provides a unique case where workers are able to participate in creating the workplace and work routines that best fit their needs, or that best enable them to thrive. In fact, traditional organizations pay their employees to come to work, but in the world of coworking, workers are paying money to be able to come work in these spaces. What is attracting people to be associated with this new form of work organization and what insights might they have for enabling employee thriving at work?

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