Research Design Connection: Co-Worker Experiences

Bacevice and colleagues continue to study the experiences of people working at coworking locations. In their newest work, the researchers determined via survey data collected in 2017 and 2018 from WeWork members in the United States that, “members strongly identify with their work organizations…even after working in the WeWork office for a long period of time…people experience positive outcomes when their work environment aligns with their company’s brand messaging and values. When we organized the comments that describe how WeWork positively shapes professional identity, we found…Coworking spaces give some members a sense of professionalism and credibility that traditional remote working does not…Workers with company-subsidized memberships feel that their employers take their needs seriously – regardless of where they are located…Coworking spaces help new businesses make a positive impression on potential clientele.” The researchers defined “identity” as, “the extent to which one feels emotionally, psychologically, and subjectively bound to an employer (or any other platform they work for).”

Peter Bacevice, Gretchen Spreitzer, Hilary Hendricks, and Daniel Davis. 2019. “How Coworking Spaces Affect Employees; Professional Identities.” Harvard Business Review,

Sally Augustin, PhD,a cognitive scientist, is the editor of Research Design Connections (, a monthly subscription newsletter and free daily blog, where recent and classic research in the social, design, and physical sciences that can inform designers’ work are presented in straightforward language. Readers learn about the latest research findings immediately, before they’re available elsewhere. Sally, who is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, is also the author of Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture (Wiley, 2009) and, with Cindy Coleman, The Designer’s Guide to Doing Research: Applying Knowledge to Inform Design (Wiley, 2012). She is a principal at Design With Science ( and can be reached at