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Beyond Coworking: From Flexible to Hybrid Spaces

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The Flexible Workplace

Abstract

The gig economy and novel technologies are bringing about new ways of working, living, and socialising that are changing common habits in the design, management, and use of space. The built environment is required to be increasingly flexible, which determines a phenomenon of ‘hybridisation’, meaning the co-presence and co-existence of multiple functions, users, and building types. This trend generates original types of spaces and calls for a new understanding of the landscape of work to support the creation of modern facilities. Due to the relative novelty and complexity of such a dynamic, an overarching interpretation and comprehensive classification of hybrid spaces are still missing. This chapter proposes a systematic reflection on what determines hybrid spaces. Given its intrinsic flexibility, the coworking industry represents a privileged environment for studying hybridisation, offering the opportunity to delve into multiple stakeholders, complex managerial mechanisms, and different uses.

Starting from seminal definitions of coworking spaces and of hybridisation, this chapter deconstructs the concept of ‘hybrid’ in multiple elements and applies them to a set of examples from Italy, the UK, and the USA. This contribution advances the concept of coworking space to include hybrid trends, thus expanding the existing taxonomy of new working spaces.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Info is available at http://hybridspacelab.net/project/hybrid-urbanism/. Accessed: 17th March 2020.

  2. 2.

    Info is available at http://www.newurbanbody.it/. Accessed: 17th March 2020.

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Acknowledgements

Most data for this book chapter have been collected thanks to the Short-Term Scientific Mission grant period that two of the authors won, supported by the COST Action CA18214 European Project – The Geography of New Working Spaces and the Impact on the Periphery (2019–2023). Previous efforts conducted by other CA18214 members through italiancoworking.com, FARB project by DAStU-POLIMI, FAB Foundation, Make in Italy, and Google Maps offered great support for data elaboration.

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Correspondence to Alessandra Migliore .

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Migliore, A., Ceinar, I.M., Tagliaro, C. (2021). Beyond Coworking: From Flexible to Hybrid Spaces. In: Orel, M., Dvouletý, O., Ratten, V. (eds) The Flexible Workplace. Human Resource Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62167-4_1

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