Transdisciplinary Workplace Research Conference 2020
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Session 7 Creating Collaborate Spaces

Shaping shared Workspaces for the Creative Industries: Insights and Remarks from a Living Lab-Field Research

Toni Reichert, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen Bocholt Recklinghausen/Germany

Abstract: Based on a living lab-field research in the context of the artist settlement in Germany, the given article is going to explore the professional needs, requirements, and preferences that should be taken into account when designing shared workspaces for artists and professional creatives. From a user-centered design approach, the given insights are intended to help practitioners to design workspaces and underlying business models that properly address the needs of creative entrepreneurs. The article provides an overview of early-stage findings from an ongoing research projectThe research design follows the living lab-approach that locates applied science research close to the real-world setting of potential user groups. In order to do so, a living lab for digitally enhanced creative work was set up in the artist settlement. The research activities aim to develop and test new digital tools to support creative workflows and collaboration as well as to create suitable business models to successfully run technologically enhanced, shared workspaces. The given article focuses on the latter aspect of business model development.

Guided by practice-orientated literature on business model design, qualitative data obtained by ethnographic observations and topic-centered interviews is used to draw conclusions about user needs that can be addressed by spatial or technological infrastructures. The analysis of the acquired data material allows to develop three relevant arguments from which specific design requirements can be indirectly derived. The given insights can be seen as a contribution to strengthen a user-centered design approach in the field of shared workspaces. The results provided are intended to support private and/or public practitioner's activities in developing for example coworking-spaces or Creative Hubs that address the real needs of professional creatives. This does not only consider creative knowledge workers but also those who work in the fields of performing arts, visual arts, filmmaking, and others.

"A flexible office business case – the investor’s, the operator’s, and the user’s perspective of the COWORKSTATT"

Annette Kämpf-Dern, RE-ER Entrepreneurial Research Frankfurt/Germany

Flexible office offers are spreading like mushrooms in nearly all cities of the world. But do those concepts really provide value? And if yes, for whom and based on which parameters? Based on a real case, the flexible office project ‘COWORKSTATT’, the considerations and calculations of the owner/investor of the property, the operator of the COWORKSTATT, and potential users are disclosed, showing the complex business case of such a venture in a threefold way. The paper looks at the business case dimensions and financial models relevant for three of the actor groups of the Real Estate Perspectives Model (Kämpf-Dern/Pfnür): the investor, the operator, and the user.

In the paper, exemplary business cases are sketched for a real case, the COWORKSTATT, a smaller sized flexible office offer in a major German city. Parameters, benefits, costs, and risks are suggested that typically are relevant for the respective actors. Also, realistic parameter ranges for the specific case in its market are provided. Combined to respective business case considerations the paper shows the interrelations to be considered to provide, operate and use flexible offices financially sustainably.

Flexible offices are a new type of operator-run properties with yet very limited information and even less recommendations on how to evaluate them financially. The paper suggests what needs to be considered and how the various aspects relate to each other for all relevant actors. It thus, for the first time, draws a holistic picture of flexible office business cases and can serve as guidance for comparable decision situations.

"Russian governmental bodies meeting an open plan office: intended and unintended effects"

Anna Baryshnikova, Daria Rud, Daria Vakhrusheva, Center for Advanced Governance (CAG) Moscow/Russia

Abstract: The research presents an ethnographic snapshot of a large-scale process that implies a significant change of working space for Russian civil service employees. Theoretic framework applies the concepts of organizational culture, organizational change and public interaction. Findings show that such core categories of bureaucrats’ identity as security are being reconsidered in the new physical environments, which leads to a weakening of formal norms, but a limited range of public places for non-targeted interactions (third places) decline the potential for a substantial organizational change within the civil service. Socialization in a classic bureaucratic culture also presents barriers and obstacles for a successful relocation of civil servants to open office environment.