In 2018, the Ile-de-France Region took advantage of a major relocation project to set up teleworking and coworking for its employees impacted by travel time. After an experimental phase that received the approval of 100% of the test agents, the Ile-de-France Region decided to make the scheme permanent. Feedback on this approach to work mobility, the first of its kind in the public service.

Coworking for public service employees: a novel approach in France

For just over a year now, the Ile-de-France Region has been allowing agents with a coworking agreement to telework in an extended network of coworking spaces via the Neo-nomad platform, which won the Region's call for tenders. Agents can now access more than 600 coworking spaces in France.

For Neo-nomade, founded in 2011, which has seen the coworking market evolve since its beginnings, the call for tenders won by the Region was an opportunity to deploy all its know-how acquired in recent years.

Awareness-raising session on the new way of working in the IDF region - Photo credit: IDF Region

The start-up proposed to the Region an approach that combines digital and human support, working from the beginning of the experiment with the Collectif des Tiers-Lieux - an association of coworking spaces in the Ile-de-France region:

  • Dedicated web and mobile reservation platform, enabling agents to reserve their seats in the coworking area in Paris or elsewhere in France in real time, and the Region to manage the activity centrally.
  • Network of customised spaces, selected from more than 600 coworking spaces, allowing maximum coverage of needs.
  • Human accompaniment of the agents, by the visit of the spaces upstream (Coworking Tour), the sensitization to the new ways of working (workshop, web-conference, dedicated documentation), ...
  • Centralization of all invoicing and daily management via the solution. For Neo-nomade, which has long been campaigning for employee access to these new workspaces, this is an important marker of the market's evolution.

Baptiste Broughton, co-founder of the start-up explains:

The Ile-de-France Region's approach marks a strong turning point in the evolution of coworking in France. While these spaces have been particularly popular with the self-employed and start-ups, more and more companies and administrations are now turning to this solution, which is both practical and a factor of openness. The approach initiated by the Region shows that large organisations consider coworking as a sustainable and long-lasting solution for work organisation, in the same way as and in addition to traditional real estate.

 

First immersion in a Parisian coworking space for some of the agents during a Coworking Tour with the Collectif des Tiers Lieux - Credit: Région IDF

Coworking: a solution for a growing number of workers - both private and public

Pollution peaks, flooding of the Seine, strikes... In this age of the cloud and collaborative tools, more and more French people are trying their hand at remote work. The trend is also driven by a favourable legislative context (Macron 2018 Ordinances, Mobility Plan). But telework is no longer limited to the home.

For more than 3 years, the coworking market has been exploding all over France. These spaces offer an exciting alternative to teleworking from home: comfortable spaces, good quality connection, socialization with other coworkers in the space, the possibility to make a break with personal life... Coworking also generally offers meeting rooms, a practical solution to get together as a team. As an example, Neo-nomade currently counts more than 620 meeting rooms in Paris.

Mama Works coworking space in Lille opened in December 2018. Credit: Mama Works

Many employees of large companies have already adopted this "third way" between office and home (EDF, CAPGEMINI, CREDIT AGRICOLE, ...) as shown by the video feedback from BOUYGUES BÂTIMENT ILE-DE-FRANCE. Civil servants, who are also concerned by the problems of commuting to and from work, are curious about these new work spaces. The Ile-de-France Region has understood this, and has been experimenting with this solution since 2017 with a group of volunteer regional agents.

Stéphanie Chassat, Head of the Employment and Mobility Department of the IDF Region says :

Since September 2017 we have been experimenting with this solution, which we find useful for agents who do not wish or are unable to work from home. In this way, we are expanding the possibilities for agents to work from home on telework-compatible functions while contributing to the growth of coworking spaces. Agents can propose spaces they have identified within their perimeter and they particularly appreciate this possibility. 

The contract concluded between the Region and Neo-nomad has made it possible to generalize coworking for a minimum period of two years, renewable for two years. According to Vincent Maniez, in charge of the telework project, this growing movement would allow to see an increase in the number of agents using coworking spaces during the next few years (see below the complete testimony in video).

 


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