Multiburo“I think that we will find a balance point around two days of telework per week”, says Stéphanie Auxenfans, Managing Director of Multiburo.

What needs do you intend to meet with your new Connect’Team offer?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – This is one of the consequences of the major upheavals in working methods that we have been experiencing since the pandemic, which are mainly guided by teleworking, the practice of which has been maintained overall. We have just conducted a customer survey in the spring, according to which 52% of the respondents telework between one and three days a week. And 13% do it at least four days. So there are project teams that work almost entirely from home. But everyone has now identified the role of the office, and the disadvantages that are linked to teleworking. So we came up with a simple offer, in the form of a subscription, which allows a team that works mainly from home to meet at Multiburo one day a week. A space is set up for them according to their needs, usually a large meeting room, so that they can work together. This gives them a weekly physical base to meet. This is the principle behind Connect’Team.

Multiburo had already launched several offers during the crisis. Didn’t they cover the needs that Connect’Team meets?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – What’s different is the subscription system and the fact that we prepare the room differently to make it a kind of private coworking. It’s about booking a meeting room to work together. This is not really possible in the coworking space because it brings together several different companies, and at Multiburo the coworking is rather quiet, with a few bubbles for telephoning or exchanging. With Connect’Team we also offer the team the possibility to store their stuff between two days of work, and we can also rent them monitors, keyboards etc.

How do you see the evolution of the relationship with the office?

Stéphanie AuxenfansStéphanie Auxenfans, Managing Director of Multiburo

Stéphanie Auxenfans – In the major upheavals that have taken place in recent months, we have distinguished three new types of behavior. The first one, which we didn’t necessarily see coming, concerns those employees who are not comfortable teleworking, and who may also feel isolated. Our spaces can allow them to telework in a Multiburo space with a coworking subscription, to be well installed, with a real office, a good connection, in short a professional place, which is positive in terms of motivation. There are also a lot of companies that, with telecommuting, find themselves with offices that are too big. So there is a boom in coworking solutions and flexible offices.

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es, with meeting rooms that can be booked on demand, as needed. There is a search not only for savings but also and above all for flexibility. There is also a strong recovery in travel with the end of regulatory constraints. And since Multiburo is located in three major Parisian train stations, the meeting activity has completely returned, whether in person or in a hybrid format, since our rooms are equipped for video-conferencing. The desire to meet, and to travel to do so, has completely returned. This is reassuring. The training sessions are also much more pleasant in a physical setting, more participative. Physical meetings are also much more prepared than before. Small department meetings tend to remain in digital format, as these two years have taught us to master all these collaborative work tools.

We have a role to play because we offer an alternative to going back to the office entirely

What are your projections for the ratio between telecommuting and office?

Stephanie Auxenfans – I think we’ll find a balance point around two days of telecommuting per week. The big companies are more like three days. But the economic fabric is rather made up, in number, of small companies. There are also functions for which telework is not very practical. So there is a balance to be found. I think that “full remote”, 100% telework, will be rare, and reserved for start-ups, companies linked to new technologies. The problem with office real estate is that it is fixed. Companies are committed to three-, six-, or nine-year leases, they’ve bought furniture… They’re kind of stuck, so they’re turning to coworking operators who offer à la carte real estate, kind of like a hotel except that it’s offices instead of rooms. We have a role to play because we offer an alternative to a complete return to the office.

Will this unprecedented demand for third places push you to accelerate the deployment of your network?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – We are always on the lookout, we always have two or three projects in stock. But we have been very constrained for many months, so we have postponed our projects a little. Real estate is part of a long cycle. It takes a year to complete an opening. We therefore have projects for the beginning of 2023, mainly in the regions. On the whole, the coworking sector is going to move towards a large network, to welcome teleworkers, project teams, SMEs who want to give back their lease and alternate between telework and coworking… It is a sector in full evolution at the moment. Companies have realized that they can no longer keep a fixed real estate.

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How do you position yourself compared to other players in the market, some of whom have opted to open sites at very high speed like WeWork?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – Multiburo is a large, independent French SME. We come from the world of business centers, which is the same business: temporary real estate. We had a classic development, we started coworking, we redid some Multiburo sites, we opened new ones. We don’t play in the same league as WeWork, nor do we have the same clients. The positioning is not the same. At Multiburo, because of our history and experience in business centers, we are positioned to provide services that are truly dedicated to the company’s activity: we manage mail, calls, we can provide after-sales service, collection, host servers, prepare meetings, etc. We have a whole range of assistance services to free up the entrepreneur to focus on his business. We are also very focused on confidentiality and comfort. We don’t have a very open community mode at all like other operators may have. Many people go to WeWork for the networking aspect: they go to meet people. Our promise is different, and companies find themselves in it.

there’s room for everyone

Many players have entered the French coworking market: too many in your opinion?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – I often give a caricatural example: when the bagged salad arrived on the supermarket shelves, the classic salad did not disappear for all that… On a market that is also only developing because we are in the process of nibbling away at the traditional real estate market, we have a huge potential. Companies are reviewing their real estate strategy. Honestly, there is room for everyone. I am very vigilant about our positioning, our offer, our way of working. I think there will be concentration in our sector, but at the same time the market is potentially very large. If companies switch from traditional real estate to coworking operators, the potential is immense. In Ile-de-France, coworking is currently limited to 3 or 4% of office real estate. And 10% in central Paris. Everything else is conventional real estate.

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How do companies choose their coworking operator?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – The first criterion is location. Before choosing between Multiburo, Regus, Wojo or WeWork, the company will first choose a very specific location. The second criterion is the quality of the offices, especially in terms of comfort. The company chooses according to its needs. At Multiburo, we offer a truly customized service. We can open up or close off spaces as needed: we are very flexible. Not all players offer this. I often tell my teams that we have to go out and find the clients who match us. I would say that we position ourselves on a four-star offer.

Coworking companies are also starting to manage office floors within companies: is this a possibility for Multiburo?

Stéphanie Auxenfans – Absolutely. The operated office is a segment that I’m observing, a very dynamic sector.ynamics, which we are not involved in today. I think that when we have the internal resources, we will offer our services to large companies. Because at Multiburo we have the experience and expertise to do so.

“The health crisis has considerably accelerated work in coworking spaces

Multiburo has just published a customer study to better identify the profile and expectations of coworking enthusiasts in spring 2022. According to its authors, ” the health crisis has considerably accelerated work in coworking spaces “. This is evidenced by the number of clients who have joined one of Multiburo’s spaces for the first time in less than two years: 60%. The French operator’s offer is particularly popular with small businesses, with one out of two customers (48%) working in a start-up or SME. Large companies represent 30% of Multiburo’s customers.