If you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur or small business in Belgium, find out all about coworking and where to find the best coworking spaces.
Are you an entrepreneur or freelancer in Belgium interested in linking up with like-minded professionals? You might want to join a coworking space. Belgium’s coworking culture has grown rapidly in recent years, with Brussels now a hub of flexible, independent workers.
Anne-Sofie Rehfeld, founder of The Library Group (which offers three coworking spaces in Brussels), takes a look at coworking in Belgium and explains how to get involved.
Coworking in Belgium
Coworking is a modern way of organising workspace. In the 21st century digital age, it enables those who can carry out their work from a remote location – freelancers, entrepreneurs, startup businesses, digital workers – to work in a shared physical space, collaborate and become part of a professional community.
An increasing number of entrepreneurs and flexible workers are opting for coworking in Belgium. Nearly 15 percent of the workforce is self-employed – including many expats – and the country is one of the most digitally advanced in Europe, home to over 2200 tech startups. Coworking spaces have proliferated over the past decade, particularly in Brussels. Belgium’s bustling capital contains over half of its coworking places and even hosted a Coworking Week in 2017.
What do coworking spaces in Belgium offer?
“A coworking space is like a business centre that feels like home and gives you the benefit of a social and professional network with the other members”, explains Anne-Sofie.
A coworking space in Belgium will typically offer:
- office space along with wifi and use of office equipment such as printers and scanners
- access to meeting rooms
- opportunities to collaborate and network with other members on-site and at social events
- use of kitchen facilities including tea, coffee and refreshments
- other benefits such as mailboxes and parking facilities
“Our three Libraries in Brussels offer traditional office facilities with a unique flavour and additional services including clubs, workshops, a range of fun social activities for members, and even dry cleaning and recommending babysitters!”, says Anne-Sofie.
Costs of coworking in Belgium
If you are interested in sharing your workspace in Belgium, most coworking spaces offer various membership plans that can range from using facilities for a few hours a week to unlimited access to your own desk. Plans are usually flexible and can be offered monthly, quarterly or annually. There are also places where you can hire on an hourly basis, from €15-20 per hour.
The Library Group offers tailor-made memberships ranging from €245-500 per month as well as the option to rent private offices from €500 a month.
Benefits of coworking in Belgium
Increased productivity: coworking gives freelancers and entrepreneurs the chance to work together, learn from each other and form new partnerships which can boost performance and growth.
Socializing: it means that talented independent workers in Belgium – especially expats – don’t have to work in isolation. “I moved to Brussels 8 years ago and found myself utterly disconnected since I had left family and friends behind and was working from home”, says Anne-Sofie. “Coworking gives you a place to belong and makes you feel more at home.”
Money savings: coworking offers startups and small businesses an alternative to paying for their own premises and tying themselves into a lengthy commitment. As Anne-Sofie explains: “Your membership fee is made back ten-fold through your own increased productivity and through the partnerships you’ll make.”
Best coworking spaces in Belgium
The Library has three locations in Brussels – Ixelles, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Ambiorix – each beautifully decorated in Scandinavian design and with access to living rooms and a garden to give it a cosy feel. “Our key ingredient is the ambiance”, says Anne-Sofie. It’s home to a diverse and vibrant community from policy-makers to designers and offers co-working spaces, private offices and meeting rooms in various package deals.
Website: The Library Group
This coworking space in Brussels has an additional location in the countryside. The Mug’s Brussels premises have two floors dedicated to coworking and offers 24/7 access to shared office space, meeting rooms and unlimited fair trade coffee. Popular with journalists and communication professionals, its community consists of around 50 individuals and small businesses.
Website: The Mug
A favourite with designers and creative types in Brussels, Factory Forty is an innovative workspace based at fashion designer Oliver Strelli’s former HQ. In addition to a variety of open-plan spaces and meeting halls, there is a garden complete with chicken coop. Plans range from a few days a month to 24/7 access.
Website: Factory Forty
The largest and oldest coworking space in Brussels, Beta Cowork offers shared workspace and monthly facilitated networking events to professionals and entrepreneurs based in the city.
Website: Beta Cowork
Other recommended coworking spaces in Brussels
- Timesmore, 47 Boulevard Saint-Michel, 1040 Brussels
- Re:creative, Place Jean Rey, 1040 Brussels
- La Venture, Chaussee d’Alsemberg 993, Uccle, Brussels
- Silversquare Louise, Avenue Louise 523, 1050 Brussels
- Bon Jour, Rue de Sceptre 57/C, 1050 Brussels
- Coworking Les Galeries, Galerie du Roi 30, 1000 Brussels
Best coworking spaces elsewhere in Belgium
- Bar d’Office, Lange Winkelhaakstraat 26, 2060 Antwerp
- House of APE, Grote Hondestraat 44, 2018 Antwerp
- DOTS Coworking, 198 Van Dornestraat, 2100 Antwerp
- Like Birds, Wiedauwkaai 23/K, 9000 Ghent
- La Forge, Rue Chapelle des Clercs 3, 4000 Liege
How to get involved in coworking in Belgium
If you’re interested in sharing your workspace in Belgium and perhaps sampling the experience, many of the coworking spaces offer free trial days and taster sessions. You can book a free trial day at The Library here.
The Library is also currently encouraging female entrepreneurs to give coworking a try. “This spring, we are offering six months of free coworking to female entrepreneurs who wish to launch an idea” says Anne-Sofie. “Just send us a short description of the project”
Anne-Sofie van den Born Rehfeld
Anne-Sofie van den Born Rehfeld is a Danish expat with a background in communications, Danish design and hospitality. After a few years in Brussels, she decided to open the coworking place of her dreams called The Library Group. The name comes from her childhood on a remote island in Denmark, where she would spend afternoons with her Librarian mother at the local Library.Curious about joining us? Try half a day in coworking with us. Reserve now