Digitalisation and new technologies are rapidly changing the way we work, cooperate and communicate. Having a fixed office space where you sit from 9 to 5 seems somehow outdated. Especially freelancers, students, travellers or start-up entrepreneurs often don’t have their own office anymore. They don’t need to. Digital nomads can set up their office anywhere, anytime; all you need to work is a laptop, the WIFI password and a proper coffee machine.
Co-working spaces provide this kind of infrastructure and aim to create an inspiring work environment. We have tested four options in Zurich and rated them according to price, location, atmosphere and quality of coffee.
Büro Züri by ZKB
The fancy Büro Züri has opened its doors in August 2015. This very modern and well equipped office space offers a variety of single or double working spaces and even a conference room for up to six people, which enables video conferences. Work spaces can be booked online and are available Monday to Saturday between 7am and 7pm.
- Price: free
This co-working space is sponsored by ZKB and costs absolutely nothing.
- Location: very convenient
Büro Züri is located at Bahnhofstrasse 9, not far from Parade Platz.
- Atmosphere: focused
The office is a bit over-styled and looks very much like the foyer of a bank or fancy hotel. People usually work quietly which allows for a very focused atmosphere.
- Coffee: unlimited
Coffee and mineral water are free and can be ordered at the “bar”. Staff is very friendly but add to the rather stiff atmosphere by looking like cliché bank employees.
Conclusion: Büro Züri is a great (and free) co-working option in the heart of Zurich. It gives you the modern infrastructure you need to work with a lot of focus.
The incubator Impact Hub Zurich is all about community. When you join you will not only be able to book the co-working spaces in Zurich and more than 80 other cities around the globe, but you will get access to a vibrant network of over 11’000 “hubbers” (550+ in Zurich). You can meet these people at member events, through Impact Hub’s own virtual cooperation platform, in the café areas of each hub or just while you’re working on your next project. The setting of the Impact Hubs encourages connections and creative exchange between the members.
- Price: exclusive
A membership starts at 45 CHF/month. You can then book as many days at the co-working space as you need, for 25 CHF/day.
- Location: stylish
Impact Hub Zurich has various locations within Kreis 5. The newly opened Colab at Sihlquai is the biggest of these venues, with 1700sqm of working space and relaxing areas.
- Atmosphere: vibrant
While the hubs also provide quite working areas, the main focus is on a relaxed, communicative atmosphere. There is sometimes music and often people discussing new ideas and projects. It’s an inspiring environment to be creative but you might get distracted a lot.
- Coffee: self-service
Coffee, ChariTea and beer are available for sale at reasonable prices.
Conclusion: Impact Hub provides a very hip and creative environment which is well worth it’s price. When you are working on the next big thing and need some feedback or are looking to make valuable connections, this is the place to be!
BUREAU.D has been initiated by Thomas Kupferschmied and is run by an association of creative people. They created this space to meet their own criteria, which makes it an excellent choice for those who don’t fear the way to Dietikon. It offers six permanent and up to eight flexible work spaces which can be booked on a daily basis.
- Price: fair and flexible
Work spaces can be booked for 25CHF/day. You don’t have to be a member to work at BUREAU.D but if you are, you can get better rates.
- Location: hidden gem
Eventhough this space is located in Zurich’s “agglo” (suburb), Dietikon can easily be reached from Zurich main station or by bycicle.
- Atmosphere: creative
The very unique interior and big open space create a lovely atmosphere to inspire a creative mind and to meet friendly people.
- Coffee: nice and cheap
You can get coffee for one Swiss Franc – which is incredible. Cold drinks can be bought from the fridge or you can bring your own picnic.
Conclusion: BUREAU.D is a wonderful choice for a creative people that appreciate a unique working environment. Dietikon rocks!
Toni Areal is home to Zurich University of the Arts, zhaw and the Museum für Gestaltung. While it is not an official co-working space, Toni Areal offers a vast amount of lovely working spaces for students and visitors alike. You can sit in one of the cafés, at the group working spaces in the atrium or grab one of the many flexible tables which are scattered throughout the building. The undisputable highlight however, is the beautiful roof-top which offers breathtaking views and oasis-like working spaces within the herbal gardes. The only downside is that there is no WIFI for non-students.
- Price: free
It’s a university, so just sneak in and pretend to be a student. It helps to wear big glasses.
- Location: modern architecture
Toni Areal’s architecure alone is worth a visit. Go explore the various areas and try different spots to work at. If you get bored, you can visit the exhibitions at Museum für Gestaltung.
- Atmosphere: busy
Lots of arts students roam around, it’s always busy and the high ceilings create a powerful echo.
- Coffee: great choice
Get your coffee from one of the many cafés (Café Z, Bistro Chez Toni, Momento etc.) where you pay around 3 Swiss Francs per cup.
Conclusion: A very vibrant and busy atmosphere paired with stunning architecture and a variety of working spaces. If there was free WIFI, the place would probably be overrun.
We are curious to hear about your own experiences at co-working spaces. Have you been to one of the four mentioned above? Do you have other favourites to share with us? Please leave a comment!