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The success of the coworking sector: A case study – London, United Kingdom
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The office market has traditionally been observed to be too inflexible to satisfy dynamic workspace demands. Market forces have continuously compressed lengths of commercial leases and new office solutions have evolved. As a result, the coworking sector, associated with a shared workspace environment, has become a multibillion-dollar industry. The aim of this study is to provide insights into the demand for flexible office solutions and the factors that make the coworking sector successful. A theoretical framework based on previously published research and literature is provided in order to examine and analyse the research question. The study is founded on empirical data based on a qualitative research methodology. The results are mainly based on a case study in London where the largest coworking operator WeWork has been studied. To support the case and increase the validity of the study, three supporting sources have been interviewed. The results show that there is a strong connection between the overall development of the business landscape and the growth of the coworking sector. Three factors were established to influence the demand for flexible office solutions: the volatile dynamics of today’s businesses, globalisation and its effects on migration, and the office market’s ridged lease structure. Furthermore, several factors were found to impact the success of the sector, including the natural development of clusters. The study implies that it is possible that the effects of the coworking sector will change the dynamics of the existing structures within the office market.

Abstract [sv]

Historiskt sett har kontorsmarknaden upplevts som för rigid för att kunna tillgodose flexibla kontorskrav. Marknadskrafter har kontinuerligt komprimerat längderna av kommersiella hyresavtal och nya kontorslösningar har vuxit fram. Som en följd av detta har coworking-sektorn och dess delade kontorsmiljö vuxit till en miljardindustri. Syftet med denna studien är att bidra med insikter till efterfrågan bakom flexibla kontorslösningar och de faktorer som gör coworking-sektorn framgångsrik. Ett teoretiskt ramverk som är baserat på tidigare publicerad forskning och litteratur har utformats för att kunna undersöka och analysera forskningsfrågan. Studien bygger på det teoretiska ramverket tillsammans med en kvalitativ forskningsmetod. Resultatet baseras i huvudsak på en fallstudie i London där den största coworking-operatören WeWork har studerats. För att stödja fallstudien och öka studiens validitet har ytterligare tre aktörer intervjuats. Resultaten visar att det finns en stark koppling mellan den övergripande utvecklingen av näringslivet och coworking-sektorn. Tre faktorer har fastställts påverka efterfrågan på flexibla på flexibla kontorslösningar: den volatila dynamiken bland dagens företag, globalisering och dess effekter på migration samt kontorsmarkandes rigida kontraktsstruktur. Vidare har flera faktorer visat sig påverka sektorns framgång, inklusive den naturliga förekomsten av klusterbildning. Det är möjligt att coworking-sektorn kommer förändra de befintliga strukturerna på kontorsmarknaden. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 40
Series
TRITA-ABE-MBT ; 18140
Keywords [en]
Coworking, success factors, clustering, flexible office, London office market
Keywords [sv]
Coworking, framgångsfaktorer, klusterbildning, flexibla kontor, Londons kontorsmarkand
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-230993OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-230993DiVA, id: diva2:1221123
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-02 Created: 2018-06-19 Last updated: 2018-07-02Bibliographically approved

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