Co-founder of Share Your Office (USA) and Bureaux A Partager (France) shares insight on collaborative workspace and co-working.
Olga: With the growing interest in co-working spaces, there is clearly a rise in demand for this type of space. Could you tell us how you came up with the idea of Bureauxapartager.com and how it has evolved since its creation?
Clément: The idea for www.bureauxapartager.com (www.shareyouroffice.com in English) came in 2007 when we were actually looking for coworkers for our own space. We searched online, but we couldn’t find any site where we would be able find easily a business willing to share its space. So we decided to create a simple website on our own – a marketplace enabling businesses to share their office space with others. As they say, the best ideas are the ones that fit your own needs!
> We’ve seen strong growth and great opportunities in the collaborative workspace since 2007. However, like with any new trend, there are most certainly difficulties that you must face. Could you please outline some of the key challenges facing this market since its conception?
In this new digital era, every industry is facing huge challenges. Real estate is no exception. Although the real estate industry is less directly impacted than entertainment or travel, it is still indirectly impacted through its users: individuals and companies which usages are radically changing.
I see two main challenges introduced by this digital world in the real estate industry. First, timing and flexibility. The real estate industry is used to very long cycles, yet digital makes everything quick and flexible.
The second challenge is cultural. The real estate industry is not « digital ready » and will need to understand how digital is shaping users in order to better meet their needs. This is probably the biggest challenge, since culture takes time to change.
> In your estimation, how can shared office space transform our working habits?
Having dozens of great places to work all around a city will certainly shape new usage. Not only for independent workers, but also for the corporate workforce. Work mobility is at stake. The rise of remote working. Less commuting. Basically, we’ll be able to work anywhere and set up meetings with a professional set up. This will change the way we organize our workday.
Creating flexibility in our work mobility, along with the rise of remote working, will enable us to customize the most efficient use of our time.
> What do you predict will be the top trends in the collaborative workspace in 2015-2017?
I’m not sure about that. The collaborative workspace is still in its early days. I predict that we will see an increase in shared workspace everywhere, of course! There will be experimentation with different types of spaces and services. Corporations are also testing out new usages as they transform the work culture to embrace this new digital world.
> How might your business develop over the next years as more businesses turn to this type of solution?
Share Your Office is developing fast. We’re opening spaces on our own now to extend the number of workspaces available on the market. We doubled in size in 2014 and we’ll probably triple in 2015. For 2016, we are looking to offer new services to meet new needs, especially for the corporate world. Stay tuned!
Clement Alteresco spoke at MIPIM 2015‘s conference panel “Towards the end of the ownership?”