Furnished office and co-working: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

We have already talked about the furnished office and its genesis, the reasons and purposes that have favored, if not even caused, its birth, development, and recent undisputed and unstoppable affirmation in almost all global markets. And incredibly, even in Italy, which is the least receptive and predisposed to innovations in general, especially those that dismantle and question established habits and customs over decades, even centuries. I’m talking about the exclusivity of workspaces, such as private offices and secretarial areas. So, in the end, a private office inserted in a shared context is welcome, where this sacrifice of complete ownership and exclusivity is rewarded with a significant reduction in management costs and greater flexibility in contractual relationships and commitments. And just when it seemed that evolution had already reached its maximum expression of novelty and innovation, to the delight of reluctant skeptics and daring supporters alike, the first cries of a new challenge to the concept of the office, or more precisely, the workplace, emerge from the magic hat of progress.

The remaining private and exclusive space is fractioned, fragmented, split, interspersed, to accommodate a broader concept: a place to work together, known or not, united by the same goal, interest, or complementary skills, in the exaltation of a concept that has permeated the economy at all levels in recent years: synergy. What initially appears as a division, a fractionation, a subtraction of a space or part of it; in reality, it turns out to be an addition, the sum of skills that are made available to each other to achieve a common goal: to do business and do it better than anyone else.

This frontier is certainly more difficult to reach: inhibiting prejudices come into play, such as competitiveness, professional secrecy, the portfolio of clients guarded jealously from prying eyes, the heritage of a life spent building one’s own professional niche. And perhaps precisely for this reason, co-working spaces are mainly inhabited by young professionals and entrepreneurs who have little to lose and everything to gain. So is co-working a child of the furnished office, a branch, an emanation? Perhaps. Or maybe not. Perhaps it was simply the systematic and organized evolution of a widespread practice, maybe in more manual activities and less confined by four walls, but inspired by the same concept: together we can do it better and faster.

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