In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Peter Bacevice, Gretchen Spreitzer, Hilary Hendricks, and myself discuss how coworking spaces shape the professional identities of employees. This article was based on a longitudinal study we conducted that followed a cohort of people as they joined WeWork.
The results of this study reinforce a key theme from our years of research: the choice to work in a coworking space is based on both practical, financially-driven variables as well as experiential, and culturally-driven variables. At a basic level, coworking is a service that simplifies the transaction of accessing and occupying a workspace. However, it is also a social product that nurtures a sense of belongingness to its members.
Our latest findings suggest that when organizations take the time to choose a coworking space that aligns with the image they want to project — about their employees and about their business — workers will experience higher levels of thriving, and the organizations will benefit as well, causing employees to identify even more strongly with their purpose and values.