The Cause and Impact of the Development of Coworking in the Current Knowledge Economy

6 page Publication by Jaroslava Kubatova in Reading, United Kingdom.
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Abstract in English:

Coworking is a fast-growing phenomenon which is still reflected in academic literature in a very limited way. Generally, coworking is understood to be a way of working carried out by independent knowledge workers, freelancers, who carry out their work in shared work spaces, so-called coworking centers. Freelancers are small entrepreneurs who offer their human capital on the labor market, and are temporarily hired by various companies. At coworking centers freelancers have all the necessary information and communication technologies, and other various tools and services available to support them in their work. While freelancing has long been a well-known way of professional self-realization, concentrating freelancers into coworking centers has been a phenomenon of the past few years. At the same time it is possible to see a growing popularity of this way of working and we have seen many coworking centers established all over the world. By analyzing available current research projects, studies and statistics, in this contribution we want to answer research questions concerning the workers’ interest in coworking, and the impact of this development on companies. The first research question is: What are the causes of the development of coworking in the current knowledge economy? We monitor both the technological conditions for the development and the motives of freelancers choosing this way of working. Another research question is: How can the increase of coworking and freelancing influence available knowledge and social capital of companies? Our research premise is that coworking centers are becoming new centers of concentration of social capital. Thanks to informal meeting between knowledge workers from different fields, coworking centers are places with the potential for intensive knowledge sharing, and may give rise to highly creative ideas. However, this may result in companies’ lacking the human and social capital of freelancers. Companies are already declaring problems staffing empty positions and this problem may deepen even further with the development of coworking. In the end of this contribution we have formulated a recommendation how companies can adapt to this new situation. Are we headed toward knowledge economy of freelancers or will companies succeed in creating work conditions thanks to which they will hire and retain knowledge workers and their social capital just for the development of their own competitiveness?

Editor(s) Full Names VivasSequeira

Open Access? Yes

Book Title Proceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management
Publication Year 2014

ISSN/ISBN 2048-8963/978-1-910309-35-3