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Classifying changes. A taxonomy of contemporary coworking spaces

Marko Orel (Department of Entrepreneurship, Prague University of Economics and Business, Prague, Czech Republic)
Will Martin Bennis (Department of Entrepreneurship, Prague University of Economics and Business, Prague, Czech Republic)

Journal of Corporate Real Estate

ISSN: 1463-001X

Article publication date: 24 August 2021

Issue publication date: 10 November 2021




During the past decade, the coworking concept has expanded and evolved along with the industry associated with it, so that references to coworking often refer to notions quite distinct from the original conception. The purpose of this paper is to establish a classification of contemporary coworking environments and clarify the scholarly, as well as the industry usage of a coworking model.


The paper reviews popular and scientific literature and the authors’ field experience in the industry to derive three defining features of coworking and distinct categories that help clarify the concept and can be used to identify and evaluate coworking spaces.


The main finding behind the following paper is the taxonomy of contemporary coworking spaces that takes into account the broad spectrum of shared workspaces that commonly receive the coworking label, specifies the features required to warrant that label and provides a framework for understanding the defining factors of a coworking model. The taxonomy showcases four unalike types of coworking spaces and the three types of non-coworking shared offices that are repeatedly and somewhat mistakenly labeled as coworking environments.


Understanding the core differentiation between unalike models would enable scholars to guide and structure the study to evolve in coworking research. The taxonomy can be seen as a base for further research in the field of coworking that helps ensure scholars are sufficiently specific and distinctive in the shared subject of their research, suggests a roadmap for future coworking research and provides a tool to evaluate real-world examples of work environments concerning the degree they fit the coworking concept.



Funding: The research has been financed by the Czech Science Foundation (GACR), project number 20-06716S.


Orel, M. and Bennis, W.M. (2021), "Classifying changes. A taxonomy of contemporary coworking spaces", Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 278-296.



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