Adjusting and re-adjusting: Learnings from the experience of coworkers for the future of coworking and shared working spaces

SUCKLEY, Louise (2024). Adjusting and re-adjusting: Learnings from the experience of coworkers for the future of coworking and shared working spaces. Journal of Workplace Learning: employee counselling today.

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Purpose This paper aims to examine the learning gained from the evolving adjustment experiences of co-workers in moving to home-based working during the COVID-19 pandemic and the influence of these experiences on re-adjusting to return to co-working. Design/methodology/approach Results of a longitudinal qualitative study are reported where a group of co-workers were interviewed on three occasions between 2019 and 2022. Experiences are analysed alongside the adjustment to the remote work model using a boundary management lens. Findings The main adjustment experiences were in work location, temporal structures, professional and social interactions, and a new adjustment area was identified around family role commitment that emerged in the home-based setting. Boundary management practices were temporal, behavioural, spatial and object-related and evolved with the unfolding of adjustment experiences. A return to using co-working spaces was driven by the need for social interaction and spatial boundaries but affected by the requirement for increased privacy. Practical implications This paper will help workplace managers to understand adjustment experiences and develop facilities that will support a positive shared working environment not fulfilled through home-based working. Originality/value Although many workers abruptly transitioned to home-based working during the pandemic, this research considers those who would normally choose to work in a community-centred working environment rather than being home-based. As such, their experience of adjustment is of greater interest, particularly in terms of their expectations for shared working spaces.

Item Type: Article
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2024 12:53
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2024 16:30

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