The company Regus may or may not be familiar to you. They are the worlds leading provider of ‘serviced office space’. This is, fundamentally, treating office space like a hotel.
You want an office for a day / a week / a month / a year for 1 / 2 / 5 / 20 people? They can provide it. You don’t need to worry about furniture, IT, cleaning, receptionists etc – they provide it all. It is an effective route for start-ups or for business which are growing quickly.
However, it is the other side of the Regus operation that is the point of this post.
Almost all Regus centres feature a ‘business lounge’. I am writing this post in one, as it happens! They vary in size, but most feature open-plan seating areas, 1-4 Apple Mac computers available for free use and 1-10 ‘pods’, available on a first come, first served basis (for free) which provide a semi-private work area.
Free Wi-Fi and free tea and coffee are provided in all lounges. Here is a picture of 1 Poultry in the City of London, which is next to Bank tube station (the pods are the blue and white things at the back):
If your job takes you ‘out and about’ a lot, or you work for yourself but simply don’t like sitting in Starbucks or your house all day, then working out of Regus lounges is a very viable alternative. Regus also has a global network, so you can pop into centres pretty much wherever you are in the world.
Frankly, even if you buy an annual pass for £299, it is a bargain if you use it a lot. I use a Regus lounge 2-3 times a week, so £299 would be a steal. However, you don’t even have to pay that. You can get a Regus Businessworld Gold card for free.
I get my card for free via Business Traveller magazine who used to (but no longer) give one away with a subscription. However, Regus has plenty of deals with airlines who give out a Regus Gold card to their elite members – or even, in some case, basic level members.
Priority Club, the Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza / InterContinental loyalty scheme, also gives out a card to Platinum members. Last month I ordered a new Gold card via the Priority Club link and it arrived within a week.
Virgin Atlantic also offers a free Regus Businessworld Gold card to holders of its Black credit card (£140 fee). They also throw in 2 free vouchers for a one-day private office.