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The promise and perils of coworking in residential areas: a systematic review of health and community impacts

Thomas Vogl (Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Built Environment-Management-Institute, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar, Germany)
Marko Orel (Faculty of Business Administration, Center for Workplace Research, Prague University of Economics and Business, Prague, Czech Republic)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 30 April 2024

Issue publication date: 28 May 2024




This study aims to explore the manifold implications – health, environmental and economic – of integrating coworking spaces (CSs) into residential settings. The research emphasizes the health-related potential and connected benefits of situating these contemporary spaces of work in retrofitted buildings.


The research highlights the potential of retrofitted buildings – owing to their urban locations, existing infrastructure, and available space – to accommodate CSs. Employing the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) methodology, the paper systematically reviews literature from 2010 to 2021. It investigates the influence of residential CSs on health, community cohesion and environmental sustainability.


The results indicate that integrating CSs within residential areas can significantly enhance user wellbeing, create a healthier residential environment and positively impact the broader community. Retrofitted buildings emerge as optimal venues for CSs due to their urban positioning and potential to contribute to users' physical, mental and social health. However, the strategic (re)use of retrofitted buildings is crucial, alongside planning to address potential downsides like gentrification.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a literature review and may not fully capture the specificities of certain regional or local conditions that could affect the health benefits associated with CSs. In addition to that, the study primarily references European-centric research between 2010 and 2021, indicating a need for more diverse geographic and cultural studies. Further empirical studies are needed to validate the findings behind the following study.

Practical implications

The findings of this study can guide urban planners, policymakers and architects in assessing the feasibility of converting residential buildings into CSs and planning relevant activities. They can leverage the potential health benefits to promote CSs and encourage healthier lifestyle practices in residential communities.

Social implications

Introducing CSs in residential areas can lead to reduced commuting stress, opportunities for physical activities and social interactions, and healthier lifestyle practices. These benefits can enhance the overall well-being of individuals and communities, fostering a stronger social fabric in urban settings.


This research is novel in examining the health benefits associated with CSs in residential areas and the role of retrofitted buildings in promoting such advantages.



Vogl, T. and Orel, M. (2024), "The promise and perils of coworking in residential areas: a systematic review of health and community impacts", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 156-174.



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