Can you introduce your company, Bartle?
Bartle is a management consulting firm founded in 2005. We work with major players in the transport and retail sectors to support them in their organisational transformation. Our 140 employees are mainly based in Paris, but we also have around 20 consultants spread between Lille, Montpellier, Rennes, and Brussels. For my part, I was assigned at the end of 2019 to develop a subsidiary of the firm in Belgium.
Why did you turn to coworking?
I quickly turned to a coworking solution. Firstly, because I was attracted by the idea of sharing premises with other professionals. Developing a subsidiary in a new city is not an easy challenge. It is an undeniable asset to have a base where you are welcomed, with human contact. To make my choice, I carried out a benchmark of the various existing solutions, paying particular attention to the quality of the offer and the geographical location. It was the search for simplicity that convinced me to turn to the Multiburo offer. I can access several sites, located in different cities, mainly near train stations. And from experience, it’s great to have premises that are ideally located and easy to get to; it makes it easier to welcome and talk to our stakeholders.
Are these benefits particularly relevant to your consulting business?
Consulting is a sector that is still quite formal: we need to be able to receive partners, to organise workshops in a pleasant setting that is conducive to work. So, the possibility of having, for example, a reception or a meeting room on request, is certainly a real plus. One of the greatest advantages of Multiburo is its guaranteed high standard. Close to a railway station, easy to find for our visitors, high quality facilities throughout the premises… This standardisation is reassuring, especially when travelling for business.
A typical day in a Multiburo coworking space?
Daily, I work at the Multiburo Tour Sablon coworking space, in the heart of Brussels, in a dynamic and prestigious area, near the Brussels-Chapelle train station.
Here, I enjoy an atmosphere conducive to concentration in a bright, designer space with bubbles for making calls and all the facilities associated with office work. I can also rent meeting rooms and take part in events organised within the space – which have been rare, admittedly, since the start of the health crisis! In the Coworking Spot, I have a locker where I can leave my things. There is no assigned space, but everyone has their own habits!
The principle of freedom is central. Depending on my schedule, I can go to one of the three Multiburo spaces in Brussels, for example. And if I have to run a workshop in Antwerp, for example, I can stay and work in the Multiburo spaces at Antwerp Central Station before catching my train. All I have to do is tell the people at the reception desk and I’m expected when I arrive! And this is the case throughout the Multiburo network, including France and Switzerland. I can work where I want, when I need.
What is the main advantage of coworking in your opinion?
For me, it’s the exchanges with the other coworkers. A lot of sectors, especially the one I work in, rely on the ability to develop your network. And there’s nothing better than meeting people in person. The first commercial developments of the subsidiary in Belgium took place via other Multiburo co-workers!
Do you think that coworking is a sustainable solution for the future?
The health crisis is acting as an accelerator in many areas, including changes in the way companies work and organise themselves. It is easy to see the flexibility they offer and the savings they bring. Coworking spaces have many assets to seduce professionals: design, working comfort, services, entertainment, diversity of spaces, and above all flexibility with the possibility of working in different places. Moreover, with teleworking becoming more widespread, the boundary between private and professional life is becoming much narrower. If for you, teleworking inevitably means home office, this has led to an increase in cases of Burn Out during successive confinements.
Coworking is an intermediate solution, which allows you to keep the right balance. It is very pleasant to have a space close to home, which helps to maintain a certain discipline. Add to that the reduction in travel time and the flexibility of use, and coworking is a competitive offer in the future, for the self-employed but also for companies.