The Workspace Revolution

Claudine Bettendroffer, President of the the Luxembourg Workspace Association (LWA) (Photo © Stephanie Jabardo / Silicon Luxembourg)

The old image of workspaces as places only for freelancers and creatives has disappeared as people’s attitude to work has changed. More businesses now see it as a flexible office alternative.

For a small place, Luxembourg has many workspaces to choose from. According to a 2021 study from the Luxembourg Workspace Association (LWA), the country has around 80 with new ones continuing to open. And there is still potential for this sector to grow. As Claudine Bettendroffer, President of the LWA explains, “currently, only 3% of companies are working in such workspaces. This is small compared to other major cities.”

And the evolution from traditional business centres – which have existed in Luxembourg for years – to workspaces (which also include co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators) has accelerated. As Bettendroffer points out, “work life has changed. People are demanding more flexibility and new forms of working. So these new types of workspaces have become more interesting.”

Hybrid working increases demand

The pandemic has increased this desire further in some industries. As Bettendroffer points out “If the pandemic showed us one thing, it’s that we can’t plan five years ahead.” As a result, flexibility is becoming more important for businesses, particularly as some move to hybrid working models, and others go through periods of rapid growth. And, now that the tax agreement for cross-border workers has come to an end, some businesses are offering more flexible working through access to workspaces nearer the borders.  

Since the pandemic, the idea of community is more important to some companies. According to Bettendroffer, “people don’t just want to come to the office to work, they want the social aspect too.” So, different types of workspaces are appearing to accommodate all types of businesses. “Our goal is to have a solution for any need, and there really is something for everyone” 

Networking and collaboration key

The LWA launched last year with founding members Color Business Centre, Gingko, IWG, Seedbox, Silversquare, and Urban Office. Its purpose is to create a forum for workspaces to network and share best practices. For example, the group is working on a guide on how to implement anti-money laundering processes within a workspace. They collaborate around clarifying legal grey areas and work closely with the government to provide insight into the industry when needed. Since June 2022, membership has opened to anyone involved in the sector.

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Get your copy.

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