Agathe Voulfow - OpenClassrooms : "Deskeo saves time and energy."

Paul Pouhin
5 min2023-02-01

Agathe Voulfow, Facilities Director at OpenClassrooms, talks about this new collaboration with Deskeo and their need to find more central offices adapted to their remote first policy.

Can you introduce OpenClassrooms?

OpenClassrooms is a training organisation. We make education accessible to all by offering degree and certification courses, 100% online. 

Our pedagogy is based on professionalization through the intervention of specialized mentors, dedicated to each student and through professionalizing projects.

355,000 people connect to our platform every month across 140 countries and we currently employ 550 people.

What are your ambitions?

We want to train and place 500,000 people every year from 2025.

Tell us about your experience with Deskeo

We have been working with Deskeo for three years now. What attracted us at the time was the flexibility of the engagement. As a start-up / scale-up, it is always difficult to foresee the development of your structure for more than a year. 

Secondly, the all-in-one approach: we are talking about a single budget line for the works, services, rent, maintenance, security, cleaning, plants... a real comfort!

What were your requirements?

We were looking for smaller, central offices because we have a remote-first policy, which means that employees can work from wherever they want. This policy has been very successful over the last two years. Out of 350 people living in Paris and the Ile-de-France region, we had an occupancy rate of about 40 people per day, for a capacity of 150 people. It was therefore necessary to move to a smaller space, better suited to this flex office policy, which has largely evolved in recent years.

The aim was also to centralise us to be more accessible and to make it easier to accommodate all our employees who do not live in Paris (region, UK).

plaza people

I fell in love with a site I visited a year and a half ago: La Félicité, on Boulevard Morland, which really ticked all the boxes in terms of meeting our CSR concerns. However, this one only offered a 6/9 year commercial lease. 

As I said, we are unable to commit ourselves, and even less so for 6 years. We therefore naturally thought of Deskeo to accompany us once again and allow us to retain the flexibility offered by their model. 

Deskeo knows our requirements, our expectations and our corporate culture. The person in charge of design, for example, is the same person who had accompanied us 2 years earlier, which made the exchanges really easy.

What attracted you to these new offices?

To begin with, the location. We are in a historic sector of Paris, in the former premises of the prefecture. Led by Emerige, the "La Félicité" project was the winner of Réinventer Paris 1, a competition responding to a call for innovative redevelopment projects.

11 uses are brought together on the same site: offices, a 4-star hotel, a rooftop, a youth hostel (very practical for welcoming our employees who come to visit us in Paris), an organic market and grocery shop, a bakery, a green concierge, a bicycle repair shop, a gym...

Each occupant has been chosen for his or her values and meets a strong CSR requirement for the property.

This centre is open to the neighborhood and brings it back to life, so that all Parisians can enjoy it.

What was most important to you?

Offering flexibility to our employees and responding to new needs.

As our employees are in full flex, we equip the workspaces at home (ergonomic chair, desk, double screen).

The phenomenon we observe is that employees stay at home to make phone calls and concentrate, whereas they come to the office much more to exchange and collaborate. We wanted to reflect this new usage in these offices, through a mix of spaces. 

In addition to the work spaces, we have therefore set up other spaces to allow our employees to exchange, meet and train. 

We also needed to be able to find our film studio as we create and film our own content. Our new offices are multi-use, a place where we find the flagship of OpenClassrooms.

How is your culture reflected in the new offices?

The timing is perfect because we changed our graphic charter last September and will be able to use it in our offices: our colours, our mission "Make education accessible", our values. Depending on the use, we will add small customized touches.

How did Deskeo's support go?

Deskeo's support was very smooth. All the teams worked together to ensure that the project was finalised quickly.

We have a project manager who is very available and transparent, and with whom things are going very well. She coordinates all the work as well as the technical constraints relating to our studio (acoustics, lighting).

Would you recommend Deskeo?

I can hardly not do so. Deskeo frees up time and energy. Not everyone has the technical ability to manage a project that touches on so many subjects. I wondered if I couldn't do it live but I would have needed to hire. 

This flexibility of commitment and the extremely simplified budget management are priceless.

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