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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

Coworking spaces may limit your creativity, says new study

4 min read
Coworking spaces may limit your creativity, says new study
Artwork by:Katya Vakulenko
Coworking spaces are a great way to meet other professionals, but what are they doing to your creativity? New research reveals what you should know.

Tired of working at your kitchen table? If you want to meet new people or simply get out of the house, joining a coworking space could be the answer. However, new research suggests that they may not be all they are cracked up to be. In this post, we will cover: 

  • The benefits of joining a coworking space
  • Why these spaces have soared in popularity
  • How coworking spaces may limit your creativity

The benefits of joining a coworking space 

Coworking spaces are growing in popularity — so, what is all the fuss about? If you’re considering signing up to a local one, here are some of the benefits you could reap: 

  • Make new connections. Coworking spaces are the ideal environment to meet business connections and even find out about job opportunities first.
  • Get into a routine. If you work from home, heading into a coworking space gets you out of the house each day. You may benefit from this newfound routine.
  • Find your community. Remote working can be lonely, at the best of times. Joining a coworking space can be a simple way to find a community that you love.
Statistical insight

The popularity of coworking spaces  

Back in 2018, there were almost 17,000 coworking spaces around the world. However, thanks to a surge in remote and hybrid working — as well as people becoming self-employed — that number has skyrocketed. The latest figures project that there are now more than 34,000 coworking spaces and new venues continue to open their doors.

Revealed: coworking spaces may limit creativity 

While coworking spaces should be a bustling collaboration hub, new research suggests they may have the opposite effect. According to a study co-authored by Bayes Business School, joining coworking spaces may limit creativity and innovation in businesses.

Researchers investigated how working at Level 39, one of the largest coworking spaces in Europe, impacted collaboration. The results show that, while coworking spaces initially supported collective conversations, they ultimately hindered any deep-level collaboration. 

Despite this negative finding, the study author suggests that there are ways in which both coworking hosts and professionals can turn things around and improve the spaces. 

“The rise of co-working spaces as new forms of work has redefined our understanding of the traditional physical, temporal and spatial boundaries of organisations,” said Professor Stefan Haefliger, lead author on the study and Bayes Business School academic.

“It is the responsibility of the host of the space and those that use it to make it a setting that can see booming partnerships and a hotbed of next generation ideas. Entrepreneurs need to embrace the early-stage interactions to take the first step towards collaborative working, with workspace managers working as catalysts to drive these partnerships.”

Contrary to this report, joining a coworking space may still be beneficial. If you’re looking to build a community and establish a routine, signing up could help you meet your goals. Weigh up your options before deciding whether a coworking space will suit your needs. 

Key takeaways 

  1. Coworking spaces are increasingly popular — and more are opening up.
  2. The benefits of coworking include meeting new people and establishing a healthy working routine.
  3. However, new research suggests that these spaces may limit your creativity.
  4. Think about what you will gain from a coworking space before you join one.
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