Regus opens first three service station business centres
Workspace provider bids to seize on rise in flexible working
Global serviced office specialist Regus has opened its first three roadside business centres in partnership with Extra Motorway Service Area Group.
The company launched the service station business lounges off the M25 in Cobham, the M40 in Beaonsfield, and the A14 in Cambridgeshire as part of its move to cater for the increase in demand for virtual offices and flexible work spaces, otherwise known as ‘third place’ working.
It follows Regus’ expansion across European road and rail networks, with hubs opening in Italy, Holland, Switzerland and elsewhere in the past year. The company that made its name for serviced offices in the UK, remains in talks with other major motorway service station and railway operators, confirmed UK managing director Steve Purdy.
Speaking to Growingbusiness.co.uk at the company’s Cobham service station business centre in the Surrey commuter belt, Purdy said: “The market is moving toward more mobile, flexible and convenient workplace culture.
“Five years ago, when we had around 200,000 customers globally, 90% were using a fixed desk. Today, with a million customers, only 25% of the customer base has a fixed permanent office with Regus. We see this as an important way people will work in the future.”
Small and established businesses, Purdy said, are key target users for the facilities, which offer hot desks, WiFi access, meeting room hire, printing, and refreshments as part of a range of packages starting at £10 for five days access.
He pointed to Yell.com, which has cut fixed costs for property from £4.5m to £500,000 by creating a mobile working culture. The business directory company is a corporate client with access to Regus’ network of 160 business lounges in the UK and 1,200 worldwide.
Purdy added that virtual or lean start-up companies, consultants and travelling sales people represent key groups for the ‘Regus in a Box’ packs sold via WH Smith, Staples outlets and the company’s website.