Workspace suppliers are responding to the demands of mobile workers by opening pay-as-you-go touchdown space in key transport hubs, from airports and train stations to motorway service stops. So what’s next for the mobile workspace trend?
Not so long ago, travelling businesspeople would pop into a cafe when they needed a ‘touchdown’ space to work. But today, they’ve got an ever-growing arsenal of more professional drop-in space at their disposal. Scour the Officing Today archives or talk to any ABCN representative and they’ll wax lyrical about the growth of mobile working – and how the ever-flexible business centre industry is adapting to this change with gusto.
Some business centres are tapping into the demands of mobile workers by launching coworking spaces and desks by the hour. Others are opening up business lounges. And then there are the big players like Regus and The Office Group, which use their industry clout to form ever more innovative partnerships.
Last year, The Office Group agreed a joint venture with Network Rail to create flexible workspaces at several major train stations. Earlier this year, Regus announced a similar link-up with various European rail transport suppliers, and later, stole headlines for its partnership with airport tech firm Clear – to help passengers speed through security check-points.
And following its partnership with motorway service station supplier Extra, Regus has just opened three roadside business lounges at key motorway service stations in the UK.
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Now, moving away from transport, Regus has forged another strategic alliance that could propel the workspace brand to new heights.
Staples is an office supplies chain with over 2,000 stores worldwide in 26 countries, and Regus has just hit on a potentially lucrative deal by linking up with this global brand. The idea is to set up Regus Business Hubs in Staples stores across the UK, providing mobile workers with drop-in business lounges and meeting space. As Regus puts it, this latest move provides “an A-Z of office supplies and services under one roof” for the mobile workforce. And with passes starting from £5 per day, the idea – and the price – would easily appeal to home-based freelancers and cash-strapped start-ups too.
Spencer Slee, Director at Staples UK, says that more and more of their customers are working on the move, so “offering drop-in workspace is a natural extension” of their business support services.
According to Regus, a massive two fifths of Britain’s workforce now work half the week or more at locations other than the office. Regus has made its intentions clear. It’s putting a lot of eggs in the mobile worker basket, and is investing heavily in the concept that, wherever the mobile workforce turns, there’s a Regus-branded workspace ready and waiting.
It’s just a matter of time before the next innovative partnership is announced. So from trains (stations), planes (airports), automobiles (motorway services), and now office supplies, what’s next for the mobile workforce? And the questions is, could your business centre could get there first?Share this article