Coworking Well: Learning from and with Coliving and Coworking Spaces

6e2e0c91680fb2a336fbde73b497e955?s=47 @mozzadrella
November 19, 2012

Coworking Well: Learning from and with Coliving and Coworking Spaces

Qualitative research project conducted for Howard Gardner's "Good Work" course at Harvard University. Presented findings in-process.

Full report available at:



November 19, 2012


  1. Coworking Well Learning from and with Coworking & Coliving Spaces

    Vanessa Gennarelli H175 Gardner Good Work @mozzadrella
  2. What’s Coworking? “Coworking” was coined by engineer Brad Neuberg in

    2005 to describe the first shared space for remote workers Image credit: Andreas Dantz
  3. 7 years later, 1,800 coworking spaces exist Image credit:

    What’s Coworking?
  4. Who are “coworkers”? Usually share values *and* physical spaces Demographics

    trend towards remote workers, knowledge workers, and small startups Some spaces have a targeted audience (i.e. tech), others welcome workers of all sorts Image credit: Ben Leuner
  5. Full Disclosure... I’m an ardent coworker Evidence: Indyhall (Philadelphia): 2010-2011

    Workbar (Boston): 2011 New Work City (New York): 2012-present I care about creating spaces for people to share and grow
  6. Research Question No two coworking spaces are the same, but

    some nurture engaging, excellent and ethical work Can we demonstrate if and how coworking spaces expand human potential via Good Work? Lessons learned will be applied to a future coliving community
  7. Methods & Current Status 7 interviews of coworking and coliving

    space founders and employees Site visits of 5 different coworking spaces Emic coding system 6/7 interviews transcribed and coded
  8. Findings Horizontal Interactions: Designing for Human Growth Recruitment and Onboarding

    “Opt-in” vs. “Screening” (and impact on diversity) Socialization of new members Space arrangement
  9. Findings Trust: Discipline and Governance “Top-down” versus “emergent” governance What

    actions are violations against the community Frequency of violations against community norms
  10. Discussion Origin: People vs. Space Push vs. Pull Culture Diversity

    and personal growth
  11. Next steps Code one interview, another this week Discussion--what does

    this mean for the design of a new space? Collate stories of subjects’ personal and professional growth Question to class--what is most interesting?