Yvelines. The former postal relay from the 17th century transformed into a coworking room in the Jouars-Pontchartrain

Christelle Caillé is the coworking referee for the town hall in Jouars-Pontchartrain (Yvelines).
Christelle Caillé is the coworking referee for the town hall in Jouars-Pontchartrain (Yvelines). (© 78news)

It was in 2017 that the work of transforming the old poststafet in the space of coworking has begun to Jouars-Pontchartrain (Yvelines). “It took five years between our idea and the opening of the place,” notes Philippe-Emmanuel. The former finance and economic development assistant under the previous mandate (2014-2020) had “proposed this idea to the mayor”. The concept? “Seeing the public sector invest in economic development”.

This is the bet launched with coworking space, which welcomes employeesfrom auto contractors or some TPE. And Jouars-Pontchartrain is not the only town in the southern part of the Yvelines that embarks on the adventure of coworking, including Méré and Thoiry. These cities were determined after a survey conducted by especially the community of municipalities Yveline’s heart.

It would take 2.5 million euros to complete the work on the Jouars-Pontchartrain. The community and the state supported part of the redevelopment. Philippe Emmanuel continues: “Covid has shown that teleworking is becoming the norm. People who are isolated at home are wondering how to develop social relationships”.

The key word: kindness

It is to this problem that the cozy places in the coworking room respond, including the kitchen, but also the solidarity bistro.

The municipality intends to use this space. The Solidarity Bistro is located on the ground floor and has a south-facing terrace (near the town hall). “We are in the process of negotiating with the Bâtiments de France to take advantage of the space on the other side. It is kept secret,” the mayor explained.

Philippe Emmanuel, Mayor of Jouars-Pontchartrain (Yvelines) introduced the coworking room on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
Philippe Emmanuel, Mayor of Jouars-Pontchartrain (Yvelines) introduced the coworking room on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. (© 78news)

Two terraces, but also two atmospheres. The classified space is noisier. “It’s what we call an urban village, urban on the one hand and rural on the other,” laughs Philippe Emmanuel. In fact, 10,000 vehicles pass in front of this space every day.

For the management of the bistro, the municipality intends to appeal for an expression of interest. Thus, an association could manage these premises.

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44 workstations

This Wednesday, May 4, coworking enthusiasts were invited to discover the place. The latter is led by Christelle Caillé. “My core business is animation in companies. I want to develop this when coworking works well, ”explains this former employee in Chrysalead, incubator and business village in Trappes.

The Jouars-Pontchartrain room has eight offices that can accommodate 1, 2, 3 or 4 workstations depending on the rooms. Three meeting rooms, “soon to be equipped with interactive displays”, are also available, including one in the attic of this former mail relay, which was a guest house or recently a leisure center.

“We want to stimulate a movement of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), solidarity-based economy and sustainable development. These are issues that are in line with our program,” notes Philippe Emmanuel.

Open from 9am to 5pm, all profiles are welcome for coworking. They are already a dozen to have invested places, including Stéphanie, resident in Jouars-Pontchartrain.

A place to focus better

Yvelinoise, an environmental engineer in the electronics industry, has had little access to the offices of the company that employs her since the health crisis began. She therefore decided to cut back on her weeks of work at home with a day of coworking.

Stéphanie, who lives in Jouars-Pontchartrain, is one of the first to sign up for coworking.
Stéphanie, who lives in Jouars-Pontchartrain, is one of the first to sign up for coworking. (© 78news)

“I pay for it,” she notes. His company refused to attend. Working at home has many benefits, but “it’s a little hard not to be able to switch”, she assesses. For the engineer, it is also a way of separating private and working life by increasing her concentration in a space dedicated to work.

If it was on the Jouars-Pontchartrain that his choice stopped, other places in the southern part of the Yvelines were considered. “I visited a coworking in Mareil le Guyon, and also in Méré, but the properties did not suit me,” says Stéphanie.

In addition to the practical aspect of coworking, it is also a bourgeois approach to Chartripontaine. She concludes: “I found that there was a lack of dynamism, it is our role to participate when something happens”.

Finally, it should be noted that the month of May is free for those who sign up before the end of April.

For all information (prices, availability: contact Christelle Caillé on 06 13 65 75 16

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