In a short span of about five years, Brussels has made the jump from the occasional buttoned-up co-working initiative to a hub thriving with cozy, multifunctional spaces where entrepreneurs of all breeds can find a professional home. From pay-per-minute coffee bars to lush townhouses in the European Quarter, these five co-working spaces represent some of Brussels best choices for the freelancer or small businesses in need of offices, inspiring connections or simply a chat during lunch.
What’s in a name? Honest coffee guzzlers have access to all the fair trade coffee they desire while working at The Mug, and that’s just the beginning. With 24-hour access to workspaces on two floors, wifi, a printer, coffee, and tea all included in a €160 monthly subscription, it’s one of the most cost-aware choices around. Journalist and co-founder Lauranne Lahaye is proud to have created the warm and welcoming space she herself was missing in the capital only three years ago when co-working in Brussels still felt decidedly more buttoned-up. Close to Schuman but far from a Eurocrat gathering, The Mug has evolved into a working home to about 50 professionals in journalism, communication, the food sector, NGOs, law, EU-oriented start-ups, and more.
The Mug, Rue Charles Martel 8, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, +32 470 10 84 12
Inside fashion designer Olivier Strelli’s former ateliers between the south station and the Brussels ring, 70 proudly mismatched seats await the bums of another mishmash: designers, producers, architects, watchmakers, and a whole bunch of other creatives have selected Factory Forty as their go-to place to get some work done. Quite surprising because of its size, the co-working space boasting seven halls is actually a family business. Co-founder David Sdika and his family are around often, making sure their coworkers “feel like they are in a ‘business B&B,’ more than in a corporate environment.” Besides being the only “chicken-friendly” place in town (four eggs are laid in the chicken coop daily), Factory Forty’s garden with a pond, its sunbathed rooms, and its plethora of plants allow for even the palest of office workers to feel at least somewhat closer to nature.
Factory Forty, Rue des Anciens Étangs 40, 1190 Brussels, Belgium, +32 2 430 24 22