How Have The Recent Societal Disruptions Transformed The Coworking Model? 

Don’t miss the Coworking Symposium 2022!

Leading up to the Coworking Symposium 2022, a scholarly conference on coworking and flexible workspaces we sat down with event organiser, Marko Orel to discover all about the conference and what attendees can expect from this year’s event.

Who is Marko Orel?

Marko Orel is an organisational sociologist who works as an assistant professor and a head of the Centre for Workplace Research (CWER) at Prague University of Economics and Business. He specialises in exploring the changing nature of the workplace and the transformation of work and work-related processes. 

In addition to that, Marko is currently exploring experimental, qualitative research methodologies. He recently guest-edited a special issue on workplace transformation at Emerald’s Journal of Corporate Real Estate, edited a volume on flexible workplaces that Springer Nature has published, and has published several chapters and research papers in journals such as World Leisure Journal, Mobile Networks & Applications, Review of Managerial Science and others. 

Prior to this, Marko spent a decade researching coworking spaces and now he is hyper focused on digitalisation of the work environment and work space. Today is predominantly focused with the use of immersive technologies, such as virtual realities.

What is the Coworking Symposium?

The Coworking Symposium was built on a non-profit basis, making it possible for attendees to learn admission free! This is thanks to event funders; co-financed by the Prague University of Economics and Business, and COST Action 18214 ‘The geography of New Working Spaces and the impact on the periphery’, which is funded by the European Union. 

Marko explains that this year’s Coworking Symposium will be tackling various topics including developmental aspects in the post-pandemic world, collaborative and networking perspectives, HRM and other contemporary issues. Attendees at the symposium can look forward to discovering the latest insights from the most recent studies on the practical developments of coworking and the flexible workspace industry.

Following the successful first and the second edition, the theme for the Coworking Symposium 2022 will take a deep dive into the transformation of the coworking model over recent years and also discuss the future perspectives of the model in the post-pandemic world. 

The on-site and hybrid event will take place in Prague, Czechia. While the last symposium had two modules – a scholarly and industry model – this year’s edition will have a major focus on recent studies and findings that are relevant to the field of coworking and flexible office research.

Why the focus on disruptions and transformation for the coworking model?

As everybody will know, the last few years have been turbulent and uncertain for everybody across the globe, and the coworking industry is no different. Marko tells us how the disruptions of the pandemic, then followed by the disruption of peace in Ukraine, has catapulted the industry into adapting fast and essentially having to transform the model for coworking for a world facing constant disruptions.

“The Pandemic and war driven disruptions naturally correspond with society disruptions and have a knock on effect for many industries. For example, the invasion of Russia in Ukraine led to a strong response from coworking communities to support Ukraine knowledge workers. A lot of coworking spaces across Europe have welcomed in an influx of new individuals. This is one of the positive outcomes through coworking to a disruption like war, we quickly have to adapt and transform our models and culture in coworking environments.”

In a world of constant disruption, events like this give us an opportunity to understand the true research into the coworking and work industry so that we can learn and build our models from them.

What can you expect from the speaker line-up?

Marko tells us that the speaker line-up for this year encompasses a diverse group of 27 speakers from across Europe and other parts of the world. One exciting reason the talks will give attendees the most helpful takeaways is that all the lectures are given by researchers who have published papers and have already made a massive impact as researchers in their fields. 

“Each speaker brings an equally important topic, and what’s truly fantastic is that all contributors are part of a strong connected community through the COST Action 18214 network. For all speakers, the symposium gives us the opportunity to all come together to address the key learnings and navigate a way for evolving in the future,” says Marko.

Majority of the speakers will be presenting live in Prague, but due to the pandemic and health-related measures, the onsite attendance will be limited. But thankfully, the great news is that the conference will also be held virtually, meaning that you can access and attend from anywhere in the world.

The symposium has a regular conference part, two workshops and an evening event. Check the programme for the sessions you don’t want to miss!

Keen to attend?

If you’re attending virtually you can expect to call in to the symposium and watch the conference lectures and workshops in real time. Upon registering, you can expect to receive the virtual attendance link one day before. 

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn and navigate the coworking world with a world-class line-up of speakers. Join us on 8 December from 09:00 am CET. Register and secure your spot free of charge here.

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