Leading expert to discuss co-working, workplace culture and the role of technology in managing personal productivity

Posted by ap507 at Feb 27, 2017 10:23 AM |
University of Leicester workshop on co-working and how it can help to revitalise city centres taking place on Wednesday 1 March

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 27 February 2017

A leading expert will be discussing co-working, technology and workplace culture, at an event entitled ‘Co-Working Dynamics and the City’ at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 1 March.

Dr Melissa Gregg, Principal Engineer in Business Client Strategy at Intel Corporation, will be the keynote speaker at the event, and will draw on her ongoing investigation of workplace culture, in books such Work’s Intimacy (Polity Press, 2011) and the forthcoming Counterproductive (Duke UP), in order to elaborate on co-working’s broader socio-technical context.

With precedents in hackspaces from the 1990s, the first officially designated ‘co-working spaces’ opened up in 2005, with people opening their homes in San Francisco to fellow freelancers looking for a working space and collegiality.

In the 11 years since then the growth of co-working has been significant. Whilst much of this growth has been facilitated by technological change, co-working also carries elements of a social-movement, working towards cultural and institutional changes in working practice, and is part of wider, longer-term, political-economic changes related to immaterial, creative and intellectual forms of labour.

Organiser, Dr Chris Land from the CAMEo Research Institute on Cultural and Media Economies, said: “For participants, co-working promises a solution to the isolation that freelance workers can experience, and can provide informal networking and  exchanges and favoured destinations for other local businesses looking for established and reliable freelancers.

“In the UK context, where the high-street is under some pressure, but commercial rents remain historically high, co-working can also offer a means of revitalising city centres, bringing freelancers out of their  homes and into culturally and commercially vibrant, urban centres.

The workshop, will bring co-working researchers, and those with a practical or policy interest, together to discuss a range of issues around co-working, including:

-      The relationship between co-working and place: where are co-working spaces located and how do they emerge from, and contribute to, wider changes in the use of urban space and the emergence of specific zones as culturally distinct places.

-      What role do co-working spaces play in wider networks of economic activity? How do they relate to other businesses in a city or area?

-      What are the working practices of co-workers? How do they connect technology, space, and co-workers in their activities?

-      What is the nature of ‘community’ in a co-working space? What is the role of the host in facilitating community and collaboration? And how do virtual and face-to-face communities intersect?

-      How does the identity of ‘co-worker’ relate to other identities? Are there distinct connections between co-working as specific professional identities? How are other identities – gender, ethnicity, class, ability, sexuality etc. – included, excluded and performed in co-working?

The ‘Co-working Dynamics and the City’ Workshop takes place on Wednesday 1 March between 10:00am – 4:00pm at the University of Leicester.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Chris Land on Chris.Land@Leicester.ac.uk or Professor Mark Banks on mark.banks@leicester.ac.uk

CAMEo, the Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, at the University of Leicester.

CAMEo was launched in 2016 to provide new understandings of the cultural industries, the ‘creative economy’, arts, media and cultural policy, consumer culture dynamics, and the mediation and representation of cultural and economic life.

CAMEo is an interdisciplinary platform for academic research as well as for collaborations with culture and media practitioners. Together with a wide range of partners we explore the diverse and complex ways in which cultural and media economies are being defined, valued, enacted, experienced and represented.

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