Differences in user preferences across European coworking spaces

Minou Weijs-Perrée, H.A.J.A. (Rianne) Appel-Meulenbroek, Felix Gauger, Andreas Pfnür, Marko Orel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Due to the sharing economy and new forms of collaborations, work practices have changed and led to continuing popularity of coworking spaces. The aim of this study was to find out whether user preferences and motivations are consistent among coworking space users across three different countries, namely the Netherlands, Germany and Czech Republic.
Theory: Research has shown that coworking space users are heterogeneous by occupation and/or sector. Many are attracted by the potential for knowledge sharing and belonging to a working community, but other motivations have been identified for their use as well. Physically, these spaces are diverse in outside and inside appearance, from modern offices to redeveloped industrial warehouses. Their numbers are increasing, and worldwide chains are expanding rapidly.
Design/methodology/approach: To analyze potential differences between countries, a mixed multinomial logit model (MMNL) for each country was estimated. Data for this model was collected in the Netherlands (219 respondents), Germany (98 respondents) and Czech Republic (79 respondents), within three years (2016-2019). The online survey consisted out of two parts, namely a general questionnaire about personal- and work-related characteristics and a stated-choice experiment to collect data on preferences for important coworking space characteristics.
Findings: The results showed that the vibrant and creative atmosphere of a coworking space is one of the main three motivations of coworking space users, followed by work-life balance. Professional appearance is more important in Germany compared to other countries. On the other hand, the opportunity for social interaction with other coworkers is more important for coworkers in the Netherlands, while flexibility is highly essential for coworkers in the Czech Republic. Concerning design preferences, coworkers in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic prefer a homier atmosphere and interior, while coworkers in Germany prefer a more modern interior. The findings showed that the accessibility of the location is the most crucial coworking space attribute for coworkers in the Czech Republic and Germany. For coworkers in the Netherlands, the type of lease contract is the most important aspect, when choosing a coworking space.
Originality/value: Existing studies about coworking with respondents from multiple countries are scarce or do not offer a clear insight in the user preferences for the physical workspace design and especially whether this differs between countries. Still little is known about the specific preferences of users of coworking spaces. The findings give more understanding of how coworking space providers of different countries can design their business models.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuture workspaces
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Transdisciplinary Workplace Research (TWR) conference 2020
EditorsAnnette Kämpf-Dern, Mascha Will-Zocholl
Place of PublicationFrankfurt am Main
PublisherTWR network
Pages14-25
Edition2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-00-066044-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event2nd Transdisciplinary Workplace Research conference - Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Duration: 16 Sep 202019 Sep 2020
http://www.twrnetwork.org/events

Conference

Conference2nd Transdisciplinary Workplace Research conference
Abbreviated titleTWR 2020
CountryGermany
CityFrankfurt am Main
Period16/09/2019/09/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Coworking spaces
  • user preferences
  • stated choice method
  • mixed logit model
  • country differences

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