Growth factors of the coworking industry: the case of Prague

Publication Date29 Mar 2020
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-12-2019-0164
Pages203-212
AuthorManuel Mayerhoffer
SubjectProperty management & built environment,Real estate & property,Property valuation & finance
Growth factors of the coworking
industry: the case of Prague
Manuel Mayerhoffer
Department of Entrepreneurship, University of Economics, Prague, Czech Republic
Abstract
PurposeThe globalcoworking industryis currentlygrowing at a rapid pace. Similarly, Prague is witnessing
an influx of global coworking operators who entered the market since 2018 and are expanding significantly.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate enabling factors for this growth.
Design/methodology/approach After a brief review of coworking and relevant typologies of its various
forms, the paper conducts a narrative review of the coworking industry in Prague and its socioeconomic
situation. This is subsequently linked in a discussion on growth factors that have facilitated the growth of the
coworking industry of Prague.
Findings With global coworking brands expanding in Pragues coworking industry by primarily targeting
corporate teams, they benefit from favorable socioeconomic conditions in Prague as an attractive destination
for businesses, which increasingly opt for coworking spaces to reap its positive benefits.
Research limitations/implications Due to the conceptual approach and specific case of Prague, the
discussions lack generalizability.
Practicalimplications The paper provides valuableinsight into the enabling growth factors that can serve
practitioners to better predict and react to potential future developments, as well as provide an additional
perspective in evaluating corporate real estate.
Originality/value The paper contributes to the still underresearched field of coworking by investigating
enabling growth factors in a macroeconomic context.
Keywords Coworking, Prague, Growth factors, Czech Republic, Flexible workspace, Trends
Paper type Conceptual paper
Introduction
Driven by changes in the nature of work (e.g. Myerson et al., 2016), there has been a shift
toward open-plan offices in organizations to achieve cost reduction and encourage
collaboration among workers. Yet, open-plan offices have been found to negatively affect
employee well-being (Bodin Danielsson and Bodin, 2008;Kim and de Dear, 2013), among
other outcome measures. Together with the rise of remote work of freelancers in project work
(Lund et al., 2012), the past years have witnessed a surge in coworking (Clifton et al., 2019)in
the global economy. Coworking spaces rent shared office space to freelancers, independent
professionals and other workers for a membership fee to colocate as a way of circumventing
feelings of social isolation (Ross and Ressia, 2015) in an environment that follows the credo of
working alone, together(Spinuzzi, 2012).
Projections for the global coworking growth estimate 25,968 coworking spaces globally
by 2022 (Hobson, 2019) as a 42% increase from 2019. The 2019 Global Coworking Survey
(Foertsch, 2019) estimates 26,300 coworking spaces globally already by 2020, with a very or
rather good outlook for the majority coworking spaces in Europe (65% very or rather good
outlook, 30% stable, 6% rather or bad outlook). Coworking seems to be largely successful in
high-density urban areas (Green, 2014) and has risen to popularity also among corporate
clients providing flexibility in the colocation of remote teams, cost reduction and increased
outcome measures of employees as a result of the office design (Orel and Alonso Almeida,
2019). Similarly, with an increase of 150% of leased coworking offices since 2017
(europaproperty.com, 2019), even more growth seems to manifest in Prague. Since the first
coworking space opened in 2009, the city has witnessed a rapid development of the
coworking community with now more than 33 coworking spaces (
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Growth factors
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203
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
https://www.emerald.com/insight/1463-578X.htm
Received 31 December 2019
Revised 30 January 2020
Accepted 2 February 2020
Journal of Property Investment &
Finance
Vol. 38 No. 3, 2020
pp. 203-212
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1463-578X
DOI 10.1108/JPIF-12-2019-0164

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