Collaborative spaces and creativity: reasons for an increasing phenomenon
Who are Italian co-workers and what do they look for? Needs, expectations, values: the results of a research conducted by Modena and Reggio Emilia University (IT)
The research report
The Communications and Economic Sciences Department of Modena and Reggio Emilia University (IT) has recently published the results of a research about collaborative spaces in Italy, a continuously growing phenomenon.
The research counts 665 collaborative spaces, located in 7 Regions- Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Puglia and Sicily- and spread almost over the whole territories. Collaborative spaces usually offer desks and office furniture, private boxes, open spaces and meeting rooms, but also lounges and bar: working areas integrated with areas for relax and social interaction, in flexible and modular environments.
What about the coworkers’ profile?They are young: 62% are under 40, the average age is 37. They have reached high education levels: 70% have a Master degree or an higher one. They are mainly male (but 38% are female). They are entrepreneurs and self-employed (45%) but also employes (28%). They work a lot (88% between 31 and over 50 hours per week) and they work in different places (home, company, travelling, at clients’ and suppliers’ offices). For half of the time they work in a collaborative space.
Co-workers have different professions: computer scientists, architects, graphic designers, engineers, journalists, translators, photographers, videomakers, designers, researchers, software developers, technicians, project managers, entrepreneurs. Anyway, these different professions have something important in common: the creative aspect.
Co-workers perceive they do a creative job, which allows them to “create” something new and useful, and that’s their inner motivation. They choose a collaborative space because they perceive it open and proactive to changement, a space which encourages their creativity and where to find support for their ideas’ development. How? Mainly, thanks to the relationships with other co-workers. In a collaborative space, co-workers share competences and experiences, help and encourage each other, act as mediators in case of conflicts.
A matter of culture and values
After all, that’s the real deep reason for choosing a co-working space. Co-workers think that creativity has much to do with the so-called embeddedness, that is sense of belonging, consistency with the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and organizational culture of the place they attend.
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Credits: Montanari F., Scapolan A. (2019). Co-working and collaborative spaces: the new boundaries between creativity and social innovation. Research report.
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