Employee Creativity in Coworking Spaces: Towards a Conceptual Framework


Creative performance of knowledge workers outside the traditional office setting has become highly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prepandemic trend of companies using coworking spaces as an alternative workplace arrangement is expected to grow further. One important driver is that these collaborative workspaces are considered effective facilitators of creativity and innovation. The aim of this study is to fill a research gap by examining how corporate coworking may foster employee creativity, crucial for firm´s competitiveness and long-term survival. A systematic review of the coworking literature is conducted to critically evaluate employee creativity in coworking spaces. Structural, relational, and cognitive social capital along with an individual and contextual view of creativity are utilized as the theoretical foundation for analysis and synthesis. A novel conceptual framework is proposed for empirical examination of creative performance in a corporate coworking context. The study reveals that creative outcomes of coworking are largely taken for granted. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the most prominent factors influencing employee creativity in coworking settings are social interaction and knowledge sharing. We argue that fostering creativity in shared office environments is a complex phenomenon worth further scholarly attention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and future research avenues are proposed.

Author Biography

Øystein Tønnessen, University of Agder

Øystein Tønnessen is an Industrial PhD Research Fellow in Management at the School of Business and Law, University of Agder in Norway. He is also an Adviser at Egde Consulting. His research interests include creativity, innovation, remote work, hybrid work, coworking spaces, digitalisation, and digital interaction. He has an educational background in public administration, organisation studies, economics, and music. As an entrepreneur and project manager, he has been involved in companies within the conference and event sector as well as the coworking industry.