Fiveoffices: Eliminating Empty Office Space In A New Working World

Benjamin Tillier, Co-founder & CEO of Fiveoffices (Photo © Silicon Luxembourg)

Fiveoffices provides companies with the flexibility they need to find an office that allows them to scale and work on their own terms. Benjamin Tillier, Co-Founder & CEO, explains how the newly launched Luxembourgish startup helps improve the way its clients operate by making renting offices simpler, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly.

What is your core service?

With Fiveoffices, we enable companies of almost all sizes to grow and operate on their own terms without being constrained by the office they work in. We provide an online platform that allows our clients to either flexibly rent an office or sublease the unused space on their premises. Through our platform, companies with excess workspace can host others that are looking for a short-term rental period or particular office setup when it comes to furniture, design, and location.

How did you get the idea for your startup?

My co-founders, Robert Glaesener, Daniel Schneider, and I know each other through the startup ecosystem in Luxembourg. Earlier this year, we were discussing the various challenges we faced when building our previous ventures and we realized office space was a common pain point. As serial entrepreneurs, we have often had the problem of either having too little or too much office space. In many cities, the demand for offices is high, but at the same time, the options can be limited in terms of rental duration or size required. This is especially true for fast-growing companies, as many rental agreements do not provide flexible expansion options to take on more space or to end the contract early.

We also identified that coworking spaces are simply not an option for some companies. For example: law firms, which require high levels of privacy to protect client confidentiality. Additionally, since the pandemic many firms are finding a lot of employees are choosing to work remotely and office space is sitting empty. When taking into account all these factors, we realized that there was no solution available to bridge the gap between the traditional way of renting offices and the newer coworking space model. We decided to change this by starting Fiveoffices.

“The Fiveoffices approach is a highly scalable solution for the office real estate market that is going through a transformation around the globe.”

Benjamin Tillier, Co-founder & CEO of Fiveoffices

What makes your platform unique?

Renting an office through Fiveoffices is simple, sustainable, and cost-effective for all those using our platform. As a host or as a guest, you get to choose the rental duration, surface area, location, and equipment that is available. We offer a variety of design styles that tenants can choose from. It is that flexibility that differentiates us from other office rentals — it puts our clients in control of their present and future work environment.

As a host, you rent what is already built, lit, heated, and cooled — significantly reducing your environmental impact. Additionally, you recoup your investments by sharing excess space and optional add-ons such as existing equipment, furniture, or support staff. Companies that want to sublease their office space, simply create a profile on the Fiveoffices platform to get securely connected to our community of hosts and guests.

As a guest, you only rent the space you really need today. Our platform simplifies the process for shorter rental periods, typically ranging from 2 months to 2 years, giving companies that grow quickly in particular the flexibility they need. Those seeking space enter their preferences and the platform takes care of the rest, including all administrative and payment aspects. Our leasing and subleasing process was designed by a team of experts to ensure all contracts and data are protected and secure.

How big is the market you are tackling?

The global office real estate rental market is huge. It is a sector that is currently undergoing a significant transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world of work with lockdowns encouraging companies of all sizes to embrace the advantages of remote work, accelerating the digital transformation of almost all industries. However, there are still lots of businesses that are not ‘remote-first’ and prefer bringing their teams together in offices,
either full-time or in a hybrid setup.

Many of these companies do not want to be constrained by long-term contracts. They need flexible and cost-efficient options for renting or leasing offices. Looking at the global office real estate market, we are seeing an increased demand for such options – but that demand is not yet being sufficiently met. Additionally, the environmental impact of the sector has huge potential for improvement – about 40% of all CO2 emissions stem from commercial buildings, including offices.

By filling the workspace that already exists with guests, not just the hosts that will benefit but also our planet. The Fiveoffices approach is a highly scalable solution for the office real estate market that is going through a huge transformation around the globe.

“We are scaling quickly. By the end of 2022, we expect to have entered several other European markets.”

Benjamin Tillier, Co-founder & CEO of Fiveoffices

What are your biggest achievements so far and what are your future plans?

Since we started working on Fiveoffices a few months ago, we have built the first version of our platform and grown the team to 10 people. We have already added 100 offices that potential tenants can rent, ranging in size from 10 to 1,000 sqm.

Our vision is to eliminate empty office space worldwide. The more the commercial real estate market adapts to the new realities of the working world, the more everyone will benefit – companies, landlords, and the environment. Building a digital platform to simplify and facilitate the entire process of renting an office, is a huge opportunity.

We are scaling quickly. By the end of 2022, we expect to have entered several other European markets with a view to expanding further in due course. We are planning to hire another 30 team members in various roles, including marketing, software engineering, and operations, over the next six months. Next year, we expect even faster growth and plan to recruit talent in additional cities and countries.

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