News

Regus opens first drop-in business lounge

11 Sep 2007 by Mark Caswell

Regus business loungeThe Regus Group, global providers of
serviced offices and meeting facilities, has opened its first drop-in
business lounge near London Bridge, with plans to roll out the concept
in international cities and major transport hubs.

The
lounge is located within 3More London, a building which also houses law
firm Norton Roses’ London headquarters, and is around five minutes walk
from London Bridge station and adjacent to City Hall. The location was
chosen for its proximity both to the City and West End as well as
London Bridges’ major transport links, and is aimed at visiting
business travellers tired of working in busy cafes or distracting hotel
lobbies.

The More London
complex has become a magnet for large corporations and hotels in recent
years, with Ernst & Young locating their headquarters within the
complex, and Hilton opening one of its latest lifestyle hotels last
year at 5 More London Place (see the February 2007 edition of Business Traveller for a full review of the hotel).

The
lounge itself is located on the 1st floor of the building, with guests
arriving into a reception area before proceeding into the business
lounge. It feels much like a modern airline executive lounge – indeed
while I was there a visitor commented that it felt “like a BA lounge”.
There is a relaxation area with leather chairs, coffee table and a
large number of newspapers and magazines – the whole lounge has wifi
access, available for free to all guests. Regus has also created
“thinkpods” – self contained work areas with slide-out desks and
noise-cancelling headphones.

For
those without laptops there are several iMacs, and documents can be
printed either via the computer terminals, or directly from a
Blackberry or PDA. Food and beverage includes complimentary tea, coffee
and juices, and healthy snacks such as fruit and yoghurts. There are
also a couple of LCD screens showing financial and news channels.

At
present the lounge costs £15 per visit, although as Regus rolls out the
concept to more of its 950 locations worldwide (100 of them in the UK),
it is likely that an annual membership will be added. The company plans
to launch a second drop-in lounge in San Francisco before the end of
the year, and is currently in talks with airports and railway stations
about extending the service to transport hubs. Mark Dixon, CEO of
Regus, said it was decided to launch the drop-in service following
feedback from its 200,000 customers worldwide.

“We’re
getting to the point where more work is being done away from the
conventional office as business people find themselves traveling for
meetings”, said Dixon. “They are more flexible about how and where they
work but they still need to use their time in a productive way, be it
to finish off a presentation, catch up on email or to meet with
clients. Our new business lounges are a direct response to this need.”

Aside
from the business lounge the floor at 3More London contains facilities
more in keeping with Regus’ core business, including serviced offices,
and seven meeting rooms available for hire. The company has recently
launched an “Office 4 A Day” offering, enabling visitors to drop by and
use a fully equipped office from £19.99 per hour.

For more information visit regusbusinesslounge.co.uk, where Regus is currently offering free trial vouchers for the drop-in lounge service.

Report by Mark Caswell

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