‘I like the “buzz”, but I also suffer from it’: Mitigating interaction and distraction in collective workplaces

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Abstract

Collective workplaces – such as coworking spaces, open workplan offices, maker spaces, or fab labs – are founded on one central premise: working alongside others leads to interactions, collaborations and access to ‘buzzing’ knowledge. Yet, at the same time, users of these places go there to do their (often freelance) work, requiring a productive, and therefore usually quiet, work environment. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork in the Netherlands, this research explores how users of collective workplaces navigate the coworking paradox: the need for quiet workplaces and the desire for social interaction. It shows how interactions emerge through rituals and especially routines, and describes the spatio-temporal conditions under which these interactions may lead to successful forms of social exchange and community formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Relations
Volume0
Issue number0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) [grant number 314-99-110].

Research programs

  • ESHCC M&C

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