How To Find An Office For Your Startup In Luxembourg

Silversquare coworking space in rue Glesener (Photo © Silversquare)

Rising office rents are making it harder for cash-strapped startups to find a place to call home. Silicon Luxembourg explores the questions founders need to ask themselves and the solutions that can help find a private office that fits their needs. 

When in 2016 Stéphane Compain sought an office for relocation firm LuxRelo, price was key. He found an office within his budget in Dudelange but rapidly regretted it. 

“The thing is that you often don’t think about what is convenient for your work day. We quickly realised that our main activity during the day was in and around Luxembourg City, which meant that we had to drive to the office to pick up our mail and we were losing a lot of time,” he recalls. 

High office rents

High demand coupled with high occupancy rates pushed prime office rents in the CBD to €51/m2/month, €42 in Kirchberg and €37 at Cloche d’Or and the train station in Q1 of 2022 (prime rents up from €45, €35 and €35 respectively for Q4 2016 when Compain began searching for an office. Data from Savills). 

In the past, SMEs would search for traditional private offices on a real estate website like atoffice.lu. Recently, coworking and incubators have offered alternatives. Now, new players bring hope of greater affordability and choice for SMEs.

Fiveoffices, for example, is a platform launched last June, where companies having unused office spaces can rent them for flexible periods (typically between 2 months and 2 years, most of the time renewable). This solution is ideal for many startups and SMEs, as it allows them to find their ideal office, already furnished or not, and above all without having to make a long-term commitment. The rents are also more interesting, because the objective of companies that put their unused spaces for rent is not to generate a margin but only to cover their costs. The platform, which already had several hundred spaces in the grand duchy after only 2 months of existence, also responds to the challenges of hybrid work, where individual employers need less office space.

“Fiveoffices is a new proposal that is clearly positioned between the coworking players and the traditional long term leases (3-6-9 years). It will particularly fit the needs of growing companies that want their own workspace but are not yet ready to commit to long term contracts,” says Benjamin Tillier, CEO at Fiveoffices.

““As a social impact company, I have to make impactful choices.”

Virginie Ducommun, Founder of Indoor Forest

How to find an office

To find the right office, SMEs should consider location first. “Clients will look on a map at where staff live and choose a central point that is also easily accessible and where there are offices,” says Tillier. 

To help SMEs find the right office for them, the Fiveoffices team asks where they want to be. “We have cases where they look on a map at where staff live and choose a central point that is also easily accessible,” the CEO says.

Next SMEs should consider how many desk spaces they require, when they need them and for how long. “If you are going to be staying three to six months, adjust your requirements to the host. If you come for two years, you can ask to add a wall, a meeting room or to do a number of things that will help you work,” Tillier says. 

The main priorities of Fiveoffices guests are a furnished space, power and high-speed internet. “Another requirement is where people live and the commute. It is not so much the car but how I can make it easy for my team to come to the office,” he says. Linked to this is a new trend that guests are seeking satellite offices in strategic areas like the border regions.

“We should have maybe paid a little more to be at the right place from the beginning.”

Stéphane Compain, Co-founder & CEO at LuxRelo

Making coworking work

After his first office experience, Stéphane Compain moved his team to the Silversquare coworking space in rue Glesener, a decision he says was better for its location to clients, collaboration opportunities and for his sanity. He is now surrounded by dynamic people from other workspaces and has services like cleaning, reception and utilities all included in the rent. “We should have maybe paid a little more to be at the right place from the beginning,” he admits.  

Coworking spaces in Luxembourg are meanwhile evolving to meet diverse needs. Viriginie Ducommun moved her smart cleaning products social impact company Indoor Forest to the Campus Contern because it was the only space she could find that is CO2 neutral and CSR certified. 

She says: “As a social impact company, I have to make impactful choices.” The site also ticks boxes in that it has a gym onsite and a car sharing scheme which she can use to go to appointments. 

Compain sees that coworking spaces with private offices are becoming siloed based on activity, with Spaces Gare hosting bigger corporations and The Office attracting more creative startups, a useful consideration if you prefer to be immersed in a specific sector or activity.

And new technological solutions are giving SMEs an overview of the full range of coworking operators in Luxembourg. Deskover, a platform for booking coworking spaces and meeting rooms, provides transparency on facility features and prices, making it possible to book a space within a few clicks.

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