Chapter 9: Sharing office spaces: coworking spaces from grassroots initiatives to globalised shared-office companies
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Coworking spaces epitomize how digitalisation changes the world of work. This transformation manifests itself not only in changing working methods, but also in the design and use of office spaces, especially those in the information and communication technology sectors. Coworking spaces have emerged from a grassroots movement of young ICT professionals. Currently, these offices represent furthermore a successful global business model, functioning as an innovative space-as-a-service platform. Coworking spaces provide flexible shared workspaces and numerous further opportunities for community building and international networking. This chapter scrutinises the ambiguity within the sharing economy of coworking as an idealistic concept on the one side and coworking companies as global players in real estate on the other side. Hence, this chapter argues that coworking spaces are not a uniform phenomenon but heterogeneous in character and, therefore, face different challenges in the contemporary world.

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