This presentation will cover the preliminary results from his research on ‘coworking in non-core areas', conducted for the Master degree in Human geography from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and written during his three-month internship at the IRS.
Coworking spaces, i.e. shared work environments, refer to a new, distinct, and swiftly proliferating spatial manifestation of contemporary labor practices. With the first ‘official' coworking space opening up in San Francisco in 2005, it has spread worldwide with estimates of over 10.000 open spaces by the end of 2016, accommodating over half a million ‘coworkers'. The idea behind coworking spaces is simple: individual workers can rent desk space (from daily up to monthly contracts) in a place where the facilities (e.g. kitchen, coffee machine, printer, meeting room) are at least to some degree shared among its users. In the first academic contributions dedicated to this subject, some have noted that the flexible contracts and the access to social and professional environments provide a crucial resource for workers suffering from increasingly volatile and precarious labor markets. Others declare an economic rationale to coworking spaces, suggesting that its unique institutional setting can be a valuable resource for new forms of economic activity.
As until now, coworking has mainly been spoken of in relation to highly urbanized areas, recently, the development of these spaces in peripheral located areas can be observed as well. This research aims to identify how these coworking spaces function and what promises they may hold for these areas. Are these spaces adaptions of an intrinsic urban concept that are doomed to fail, or do they hold distinct local characteristics that could be valuable for regional development?
The first results gathered from two coworking spaces in Greifswald and Görlitz will be presented.
Ivo Hindriks is a Master’s student in Human Geography at department of Geography, Planning and Environment at the Radboud University of Nijmegen (the Netherlands). In April he started his three-month internship at the IRS in research department 1, ‘Dynamics of Economic Spaces’. During this time, he will work on his master thesis entitled ‘coworking in non-core areas’, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Huib Ernste (University of Nijmegen) and Dr. Suntje Schmidt (IRS). In his research, he seeks to identify the value that coworking spaces hold for cities located outside principal metropolitan areas. Previously he completed a Bachelor in Human Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Groningen (2011-2015) and was an exchange student at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary (2013-2014). His main research interest is in Economic Geography, and specifically the processes related to new forms of economic activity such as coworking.