Guide to Flexibility, Organization and Work Environment

February 2021

A work co-signed by Kardham and ADI (Association of Real Estate Directors), under the direction of Nicolas Cochard, Head of the Research & Development department of Kardham.

Flexibility is everywhere. Difficult to go a week without reading or hearing this term that floods the literature and speeches in organizations. This book takes up the subject with the aim of taking stock of this notion which, although omnipresent, still sometimes remains unclear. In business, flexibility has become a paradigm encompassing all organizational issues. Talking about flexibility remains a difficult exercise, however, because the notion is ambivalent, a promise of opportunities for some and a source of deterioration for others. But let us say it forcefully now: our talk is not an essay on flexibility, it is not intended to give an opinion on flexibility. In fact, the following comment is neither for nor against flexibility, but it offers a distanced look at the subject. Our approach does not promote or denigrate any spatial form, any type of layout or any type of organization. By nuance and by distancing oneself from fashion effects and the often overused use of the term, these pages should serve for reflection and why not feed the debate.

This book is built around a bias, that of relying on numerous research works in order to build on solid theoretical foundations. The reader will then find bibliographical references at the end of each page. This book should be a synthesis, hopefully as objective as possible, of many works relating to flexibility in all its forms. The following pages then revolve around a dialogue between a theoretical focus and its practical translation. It will then be a reflection based on a long time frame, which corresponds well to that of organizations and even more to that of real estate.

This book is therefore addressed to all the players concerned by a business real estate project and all the more so by a transformation project. Decision-maker and user, project owner and consultant, manager and collaborator, all of them certainly have a lot of information to draw on the following pages, both to nourish reflection around a project but also to bring life to the environments of daily work. This is almost a handbook for those concerned with spatial and organizational flexibility, probably many to tell the truth.

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Nathalie Neyret

Nathalie Neyret

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