Despite the advent of telecommuting from home, coworking in the countryside is a hit in Yvelines

A handful of workers are still working to complete the final touches. In Jouars-Pontchartrain (Yvelines), a coworking room has just opened the doors of a former post office classified as a historical monument.

This € 2.4 million project, delayed by Covid and the whims of the construction site, had been in the pipeline since 2017. Equipped with advanced equipment, the structure offers 44 sites to “work remotely”. in this community of 6,000 inhabitants.

10 kilometers away, the village of Thoiry, 1,500 inhabitants, has also embarked on the adventure. In a 17th century building bought by the municipality, a similar room with nineteen seats has been open since September.

These two spaces were imagined with the support of Blandine Cain, the creator of “50 Coworking”, a groundbreaking third place, born in Méré, in open country, seven years ago.

“Defend the formula Lives and works in Yvelines »

After a period of burglary in the middle of Covid, the occupancy rate in Thoiry has just passed the 50%. “It is very much in the goals,” welcomes the Mayor (DVD), François Moutot. The idea is first and foremost to offer a service to the inhabitants. For it is clear – and the health crisis has confirmed it – that the work between your refrigerator, your television and your kids are doing well for a while! ”

Service to the population, but not only. “We defend the formula Lives and works in Yvelines, the mayor insists. 85% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the southern and western part of the department are related to car travel. If we want to act, we must move economic activities, improve transport and create this type of space to promote teleworking ”.

Breaking loneliness, “networking” …

His motorcycle helmet in hand, François, in his fifties, has just arrived in front of the coworking room in Jouars to inquire. Employed in a design office, he has worked alone at home for two and a half years. “Working at home has its benefits, but you never see anyone. And when I have an appointment with my suppliers or my customers, I have to receive them in the café,” he explains. If I decide to come here, I can maybe even make some network. ”

It is Christelle Caillé, 40, who receives it. For three years she worked for animation and communication of a company incubator in Trappes. And has just been recruited by the city of Jouars to manage the coworking space.

Two free parking spaces nearby, three bus lines, one of which operates the station in six minutes … The transport network is “an extra asset”. Quentin and Julien do not even have to ask themselves the question of their movements. They run a company that sells used vehicles close to the coworking area. But then come here, what’s the point?

“I have a child, it is not compatible with teleworking”

“It is true that it may come as a surprise, but we work in open spaces with six employees. Impossible to isolate oneself. There we can. Everything is perfect, inviting, ”explains Quentin. The two young people aged 27 and 31 live in Villiers-le-Mahieu, a village 15 kilometers away, but are not fans of working from home. “I have a child, it is not compatible with teleworking,” Quentin explains. “Here we hope to meet people who are pursuing a different profession.”

Stéphanie, 38, an environmental engineer, works for a company based in Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine), but lives in Jouars. Encouraged to telecommute from Covid, she would “change pace and concentrate more easily than at home.”

François-Xavier, 50, in retraining in energy renovation, has “a new career to invent”. He chose to participate in coworking “to stay in the territory and share an experience”.

An associative bistro to complete the process

Like Thoiry, the coworking area of ​​Jouars-Pontchartrain had been the subject of a feasibility study conducted by the community of municipalities of Cœur d’Yvelines in 2016.

“We did not embark on this adventure at random. Polls and polls have shown us that we did not dream: Coworking was really a topic of public interest,” sums up Jouars mayor Philippe Emmanuel.

In this village without a city center, the coworking space has “a real role to play”. In the same way as the upcoming association bistro planned next door, which will be the subject of an application in a few weeks.

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