POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Desk job: new co-working spaces in Luxembourg



Coworking is a low-cost alternative for startups and the self-employed to rent office space Shutterstock

Coworking is a low-cost alternative for startups and the self-employed to rent office space Shutterstock

Co-working spaces are catching on in Luxembourg as offer increases to meet a growing demand, particularly from firms establishing European hubs in Luxembourg.

In May Paladium, a new space in Bonnevoie, opened. Meanwhile, the Foundry, is expected to open on the route d’Esch in Hollerich/Belair on 17 June.

Described as “human-sized co-working”, Paladium is located in a disused storage space in rue des Puits. It was established by Synergy Group, a group investing in food, funds and buildings, among other things. “In Luxembourg, even though there’s a lot of space, it’s very hard for small companies to find somewhere to set up. You have high rents, you have to find people to work, and build your network,” said Antoine Berghen, head of digital and new project development in the group. “One of our objectives is to help companies better settle in Luxembourg.”

The office is characterised by the presence of plants, which fill every room either in real, fake or photo form. It combines open space coworking space and kitchen, lounge areas with a distinct artsy feel filled with quirky, home-made shelves, tables and other decorations. Its meeting nests, meanwhile, are named after international entrepreneurs, meaning visitors can sit in the Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg booths. As well as other meeting rooms, there are also six private office spaces, though only one was not being rented at the time Delano spoke to the manager. Access is 24/7 via electronic badges and the onsite expertise can help put companies in touch services including accountancy, which can be offered as a package.

Place your cursor over the map to view the location of each coworking space. You can also click on the arrows next to the photo for a tour of all coworking spaces listed.

The Foundry

Further west in the City, is the Foundry, whose focus is also on firms looking to settle in Luxembourg, specifically firms testing their product on the European market.

The idea originally came from Maison Bower director James Monnat. His firm provides market research and can conduct research for firms wishing to assess their product on the European market. “At the end of the day, there’s a lot of support in the field of accounting, legal structures etc, but a lot of these companies really need to explore the market and see how they are going to position themselves,” advisory board member Patrizia Luchetta told Delano. She added it was less a co-working space and more a place for mature companies which had had success abroad to use the on-site services and expertise until they can establish their own office.

“The second decision was to offer desks to the creative industry,” on a hot-desk basis. Luchetta explained that the plan was to install a studio with materials that creative workers could benefit from. All the services in the building are managed via an application, which helps calculate use and therefore tariffs. Plus, there’s a spin: “one of the things you need to fulfil to become a creative member is to be able to provide services to others in the building.” This means that tenants offering a service to another tenant will benefit from that through a reduction in their rent.

One of the strengths of the service, Luchetta said, is the expertise of the advisory board, which spans industry-specific knowledge across sectors as well as practical and administrative know-how for firms establishing a Luxembourg base.

The global co-working space trend kicked off in San Francisco in 2005 when Brad Neuberg inaugurated the Hat Factory as a working and living loft space. The bug caught on 10 years later in Luxembourg when The Imactory and Business Initiative merged to form Nyuko, a co-working space on rue de Hollerich. This space went on to become the Luxembourg City Incubator. Today, there are around a dozen of privately and publicly-supported co-working initiatives in the country as can be seen in the interactive map above.