Future of Work: Stationery Brand Creates Business Hubs
In response to a growing mobile workforce, Regus – a UK-based company that provides flexible workspaces and administrative support in cities around the world – has joined forces with American office supplies retailer Staples to launch a series of public business centres in the UK, which will be run out of the brand’s stores.
Called Business Hubs, the hybrid spaces have been conceived as a one-stop-shop for mobile workers – offering drop-in facilities that include business lounges, meeting spaces and wi-fi, as well as all the printing, binding and postal services that come with Staples stores.
Business hubs can be accessed in one of two ways: with a Regus Business World Card (if you're already a Regus member), or by buying a £5 day pass from any Staples store. This cost is significantly lower than conventional members clubs, undoubtedly aimed at attracting both home-based freelancers and budget-conscious start-ups.
Regus is currently testing the Business Hubs in Staples stores in Swindon, Reading, Birmingham and Sheffield.
“Two-fifths of Britain’s workers now work half the week or more at locations other than their employers’ main office,” explained Regus’ UK managing director Steve Purdy. “These mobile workers still need access to office-type facilities – even if it’s just for 10 minutes to print, email, think or meet a contact,” he added.
As shown by the steady rise of hot-desking and telecommuting, many businesses are now realising that a traditional office format may no longer be the most conducive to productivity. Expect to see more shifts towards flexible, adaptable working environments, as discussed in The Transformable Workspace across 2013.
For retailers, these kinds of collaborations also offer a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the prowess of their products in situ. For more on the benefits of putting product in context, see Future Stores: Brand Hubs and Product Playgrounds.