Co-working, for or against?

Daxium started its co-working experience in Dubai in 2014.

The current years are conducive to “co”: carpooling, co-transportation, co-working… four years ago, our Dubai team opted for co-working offices, the real ones, the tough ones! That is, without assigned seats. Everyone arrives in the morning and chooses their place. No more dedicated desk with personal belongings. The virtue of this place is to come and go freely. Coffee is unlimited, baskets of fruit, cakes, candies… just like on the campuses of the GAFA. In fact, our co-working space “Astrolabs” in Dubai was created by Google. Named “Google for entrepreneurs,” its credo is “join our start-up community.” And we are not disappointed. The exchanges are rich and friendly. Digital agencies rub shoulders with organic basket providers, web SEO specialists, or software publishers like Daxium. We even launched “FrenchTech” Dubai with two other French startups staying there.

At the end of 2017, our local team, consisting of 6 employees, switched from co-working to dedicated desks. The cost increased from $400 to $600 per month per workstation. Now, you don’t have to take out your screens and various accessories from your locker every morning. Everything is in place at your desk, but still in a shared space. addition to these fixed desks, many meeting rooms of all sizes are included in the package, capable of accommodating between 4 and 50 people. Convenient for our client events. Not to mention the soundproofed phone booths because the co-working space encourages everyone to respect the silence of other tenants.

Why not try the experience for our teams in Paris?

Challenge accepted! For several years, we occupied 110m2 of office space in a tall tower in La Défense. A breathtaking view of all of Paris. But when our teams descended the 14 floors, only a small grocery store and a sandwich shop, lost in a sea of concrete, allowed them to have lunch. Not very exciting for an average age of 30. We were far from the GAFA campuses, and that had to change! Our choice would be spaces with dedicated offices.

Let’s talk budget!

The cost for dedicated offices in this type of offer ranges from €600 to €950 per workstation. It may seem scary, but after calculating, when you add up all the expenses of an office in a traditional lease, the extra cost is not that high. In our old premises, our cost per workstation approached €550, but with much fewer services offered and a somewhat dusty working environment. So, we started the tour of visits with Laetitia, our CFO. An amusing exercise, by the way. We immediately ruled out the small spaces more suitable for start-ups in the initial stages. We were looking for a wide range of services and the ability to support our constant growth in France and abroad. It should be noted that Daxium is a mobile business application editor for mobile employees, with users in more than 40 countries.

How did we conduct our selection?

We visited Wework, Kwerk, Nextdoor, or Startway. Let’s be honest, we had a good laugh. Some focused their efforts on well-being at work but in an extreme version. quote: “Our gym is the largest in all Parisian spaces, and our Yoga teacher is a top expert.” Well, this one will have to rework his pitch because he was not addressing Daxium’s CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) but rather its CEO, who was primarily looking for workspace for his teams. Well-being, yes, but we mainly come here to work in good conditions. So, no way to take dedicated offices at €950 per workstation, a third of which would finance a renowned architect, essential oil-scented offices, or bathrobes provided after the sauna and gym sessions. ClubMed will be during vacations!
In our criteria that motivated our choice: “small is beautiful,” but a lot of means is good too! So, we chose Nextdoor, born from the marriage of Bouygues Immobilier and Accor Hotel. Their jingle is “business humanizer.” Surprisingly, Nextdoor offers the lowest prices on the market for a premium range, for a dedicated workstation.
Certainly, coffee is not free, nor are the cakes. The good news is that their spaces are growing like mushrooms in Paris, in the provinces, and abroad. So, we are everywhere, day and night. You just have to program your badge for each space you frequent. If a member of your team is more nomadic, no need for a dedicated workstation, you opt for a co-working space at €300 per month, or even less if it is only part-time And no more wasted time going to our Nextdoor Neuilly office when leaving a meeting at St Lazare in the middle of the afternoon. We go to work on the terrace of Nextdoor rue de Londres, with a direct view of the Sacré Cœur de Montmartre. You can sip a hot chocolate while nibbling on a cookie served in the cafeteria by our now friend Gwel, Breton like us. A feeling of freedom for everyone and a lot of time saved!

The feedback from our teams is unanimous: there is a before and after!

Without really spending more, we transformed everyone’s working conditions overnight. Once installed, the festival of animations was born with the benevolent animation of our “customer’s friends” and “site managers” (Marie, Virginie…): cooking classes, workshops of all kinds, aperitifs among members, onboard hairdresser, ping-pong matches, or contests of outdated sweaters (too proud, I won it!) These animations take place only during break hours or at the end of the day. Regarding the locations, significant resources have been invested in terms of space as well as environment and equipment.
We chose the Neuilly site, with a wooded garden and large wooden tables for outdoor meetings. For the nap, some of us squatted after lunch in the rest area with a hammock and a large multicolored pouf. At Issy les Moulineaux, the pouf is green, with a bonus of a swing and trampoline in the same room. Enjoy ! Our individual offices are now narrower, but the communal spaces more than make up for this reduction in space. No one is suffering, on the contrary!

Today, only our office in Nantes remains. We stayed in traditional offices but did some renovations to transform them into a coworking spirit. Thanks to Wojo and Astrolabs for the valuable inspiration for our new offices in the city center of Nantes.

“A piece of advice for growing companies: take the plunge, for the well-being of your teams and your company.”
Yann de Saint Vaulry, CEO – Daxium