Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice, and Lyndon Garrett’s coworking research shared in HowStuffWorks
The HowStuffWorks article, “The Pros and Cons of Coworking Spaces,” features research by Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice, and Lyndon Garrett about the impact of coworking on people’s ability to thrive in their roles.
Spreitzer is the Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business Administration, professor of management and organizations, and a member of the Center for Positive Organizations’ (CPO) core faculty. Bacevice is a member of CPO’s Community of Scholars and researcher at HLW. Garrett is an assistant professor at Boston College and CPO Faculty Affiliate.
Co-constructing a sense of community at work: The emergence of community in coworking spaces
As more individuals are working remotely, many feel increasingly isolated and socially adrift. To address this challenge, many independent workers are choosing to work in coworking spaces – shared spaces where individuals do their own work but in the presence of others with the express purpose of being part of a community. In this qualitative, single case study, we analyze how members of a coworking space work together to co-construct a sense of community through their day-to-day interactions in the space. We apply a relational constructionist lens to unpack the processes of ‘community work’ as an interactive, agentic process. We identify three types of collective actions, or interacts, that contribute to a sense of community: endorsing, encountering, and engaging. These interacts represent different forms of community work that members interactively accomplish to maintain a desired community experience. The rapidly growing coworking movement offers insights, as uncovered in this study, on how to integrate a sense of community into the world of work.