Home to some of the most innovative startups, including MindMaze, HouseTrip, Sensirion and GetYourGuide, Switzerland continues to pave the way for pioneering businesses to succeed. In fact, this small country has enormous potential, already boasting more than 300 high-tech spin-offs. It is literally buzzing with entrepreneurs, creatives and techies ready to realise their new business ideas. What’s more, this entrepreneurial hype has been accompanied by an increase in mobile working.
According to the study “The Workplace of the Future”, released by Deloitte in 2016, 25% of professionals in Switzerland are working as freelancers or solopreneurs, and a third of the remaining 75% expect to do the same within the next year. Over the past five years, coworking spaces have been popping up in just about every major city. In 2014, Switzerland was home to 50 coworking spaces. Today, there are over 100, and it is projected that more will emerge over the next few years. Supporters such as Coworking Switzerland and the Work Smart Initiative are dedicated to promoting collaborative working spaces and bringing together Swiss coworking organisations throughout the country.
Here’s where to find the most laidback spots:
Citizen Space: The first and largest coworking space in Switzerland. Located near Zurich’s main train station, this coworking space offers five working areas, including an outdoor terrace with a Ping-Pong table and grill. The five coffee machines onsite serve the best java from Kaffeepur. Cost: Choose from four different service packages, starting with the Flex Ticket at CHF 350.— a month.
Impact Hub Zurich: Part of the global network, the Impact Hub Zurich is an entrepreneurial community comprised of more than 750 innovators, startups and corporate partners. It owns five coworking spaces – Viadukt, Colab, Garage, Café Auer & Co and EWZ Unterwerk Selnau – and offers desks, meeting rooms, business coaching, networking and events. Cost: Cowork as little as four times a month for CHF 135.— with the Starter package or get your own desk and unlimited coworking with the Resident package for CHF 550.— a month.
Swiss Startup Factory: A startup incubator with a mission to turn startups into global companies. This coworking space is full of perks: Nespresso Bar, fitness centre, meeting rooms, video studio, postal services and more. Startups can even join the Accelerator Program and receive expert pitch training, mentoring services and input sessions from successful entrepreneurs and investors. Cost: rent a workspace (CHF 390. – per month), a desk (CHF 590. – per month) or a small office (CHF 1250. – per month)
Seedspace: Be a part of a global community in an interconnected network of workspaces. Geneva is where Seedspace has its headquarters – over three floors of pure fun, work and playfulness are provided for entrepreneurs to nurture their ideas and grow their businesses. Cost: enjoy global membership for $50 a month or upgrade your membership for access to a desk or private office.
Voisins: A coworking space and café in the heart of Geneva. Rent of workspaces and conference rooms in a calming atmosphere that embraces brightness, greenery, ergonomics and good humour. Cost: pay by the hour or purchase the Voisin Résident package for CHF 375.— per month.
Effinger: For young entrepreneurs, creatives, craftsmen, people who want to change the world, coffee and beer lovers, culturally affine individuals and aspiring artists. Cost: Buy a day pass for CHF 30.—, or invest in a full-time pass for CHF. 350.— per month.
Urbanfish: Situated in the centre of Bern, the doors are wide open to all freelancers, entrepreneurs, students and artists looking for a space to create. Mingle with like-minded individuals over a latte in the café or step out into the courtyard for some inspirational fresh air. Cost: Day passes are available for CHF 30.—, the Drop-in Pack 10x is valid for three months at CHF 250.— per pack.
Colab Fribourg: An interdisciplinary coworking and event space where entrepreneurs, techies, creators, hackers and consultants can unite and create. Work in quiet and comfortable workspaces or have coffee and a discussion in the lovely café of the Villars Swiss chocolate factory downstairs. Cost: try the first day at Colab for free. If you like it, get a day pass for CHF 25.— or choose from three different packages. The resident packages at CHF 290.— a month is the best deal.
Kleinhafen: The new coworking place in Basel that encourages you to work with an open perspective. It is the new melting pot where pioneers, progressive thinkers and creatives from every business field enjoy working with a great panoramic view from their desks. This space overlooks the vibrant Basel harbour and frames the mesmerising sunsets over Alsace. Costs: CHF 450.— a month.
Work ‘n’ Share: A community of passionate and creative coworkers, located five minutes from the lake and near a crèche, several car parks and restaurants. This space includes conference rooms, a kitchen, and lounge area and showers for your mid-day run. Cost: After a free trial day, enjoy unlimited access for CHF 305.— per month.