Building Spaces of Social Interaction from Coworking Relationships and Practices

ABSTRACT Coworking spaces are work environments that have spread quickly in recent years and might be seen as a new work model. The purpose of this article was to analyze coworking practices and relationships in order to better understand how they occur and how they contribute to building spaces of social interaction. To explore this question, a unique and in-depth case study was conducted. Data were collected using techniques of ethnographic inspiration, including intense participant observation, semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis. The field study lasted 25 days and 40 associates were interviewed. The results show three levels of relationship that support a workspace that goes beyond ‘sharing’. At each level, practices to construct a space of social interaction were identified: self-management practices, cooperative business practices and community practices. Finally, we call for a reflection of a better understanding on what a social space within a coworking really means.