Changing homes and coworking

Homes are no longer places from which paid work is being excluded. Our research studies how the structural change of the economy and a changing society are currently changing the meanings of home as shelter, retreat and private place into a single or collaborative workplace. We use interviews, photographs and participant observations in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Sweden to explore how domestic and economic relations, functions and materialities are reshaped in the home and how these in turn are changing the meanings of the home. Some key questions include:

  • Do households choose a dwelling with having homeworking in mind or do they adapt their dwelling situation? How does this differ by neighbourhood type and opportunity structure?
  • How do home-based self-employment and businesses change residence decisions? How is this linked with people’s life and career choices?
  • How do home-based self-employed people shape their home-working spaces and reshape them related to transitions in work and life?

We are studying the home-based self-employed who work alone in their home but also how a group of self-employed people works in homes. In particular our focus on home-based coworking examines the materials, social relations, technologies and work practices that are brought together by digital platforms, and what new functions and meanings of home are emerging.

  • What are the motivations and goals of home-based self-employed workers who take part in coworking?
  • How are home-based coworking networks organized, and how are home spaces adapted to enable coworking?
  • How does home-based coworking impact on workers’ ideas of home?