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Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation


How do companies utilize coworking? Which types of corporate coworking offer the best opportunities for companies? Does corporate coworking truly drive innovation? Fraunhofer IAO has published “Coworking - Driver of Innovation for Companies,” a study that identifies nine coworking models and evaluates the opportunities and risks posed by each model.

Three years ago, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO released “The Fascination of Coworking - Potentials for Companies and their Employees.”

© Fraunhofer IAO

Coworking – Awareness of the term and practical experiences

This study explored in depth the topic of coworking and its potential significance for companies. The recently published “Coworking - Driver of Innovation for Companies” expands on the 2014 document by examining to what extent coworking can effectively foster a company’s innovative capacity.

The study’s authors do not regard corporate coworking as a one-size-fits-all solution. They instead distinguish between nine different organizational models of coworking. Klaus-Peter Stiefel, one of the authors, has this to say: “We can think of many different versions of corporate coworking, with different layouts at very different companies. One company might rent workstations in coworking spaces, for example. Another business will try to set up its own coworking space. It’s even conceivable to schedule a coworking project at a vacation destination, though that would admittedly be a bold decision.”

An online survey asked companies to assess nine models. Where are the opportunities? And which models present which risks? Which coworking models are already reality? Can survey respondents imagine implementing coworking models at their companies?

The data indicates that most companies surveyed believe they can leverage corporate coworking to achieve a diverse array of strategic competitive edges. On the whole, survey respondents feel that the opportunities considerably outweigh the risks. Since each coworking model offers a unique mixture of opportunities and risks, the new IAO study supplies an initial basis to help decision-makers select an appropriate model.

As Stiefel says: “Corporate coworking provides a blueprint for many companies, especially those looking to boost their innovative strength.”

The “Coworking - Driver of Innovation for Companies” study is a product of the Office 21®joint research project. This joint research project aims to identify current and future developments as quickly as possible. The project team also strives to define specific courses of action for designing and implementing new work environments that will succeed in the business world. Please click on the following link to access the “Coworking - Driver of Innovation for Companies” study.


Klaus-Peter Stiefel
Information Work Innovation

Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart

Phone +49 711 970-5474

Weitere Informationen:

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

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