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The business world hinges on the ability of its army of suited men and women to interact with clients, communicate effectively and to travel.
The challenge of the modern day is that now, they’re expected to do all of those things at the same time. That’s where Regus Express comes in. They provide the lubrication between comfort, communication and travelling, and sit at what they call the “intersection points” of the business world: train stations.
Regus takes the idea of a flexible office to the extreme, offering pricing plans for hours, days, months or years, with outposts of their office chains in 900 cities across 20 countries. The railway station Regus ‘Express’ branches, the newest of which are in Belgium, are the latest addition to an already-impressive fleet, with their airport lounge and hotel lobby offerings being joined by fully-equipped offices just moments from platforms.
It’s part of their philosophy of the “workspace on the move”, which allows passengers to hop off their train one minute, and hop online the next, to make a reservation for dinner with a client, or to refuel and take a drink while planning the day’s meetings
Flexible work surroundings
As an office space, Regus Express works differently to most. Their clients are transient, on the move, and can check into any one of the 21 train stations where Regus operates, or any of the 800 airports worldwide.
Functionally, Regus Express workspaces are essentially business lounges, with comfortable seating, computers, meeting rooms and a concierge service.
The idea of Regus is that people travelling for business never need to leave the station to have their meeting – the train station itself becomes a business hub, and busy businesspeople can do away with expensive and time-consuming taxis and meet their clients in the station.
Moulding into the surroundings
The joy of the design of Regus stations is their chameleon-like ability to mould into the station around them. The Antwerp Centraal railway station is one of the most beautiful in Europe: built at the turn of the twentieth century, it has an enormous dome, glass and stone construction and a number of levels.
The timeless Belgian railway clock, against which the station managers and drivers check their schedule, ticks above it all.
And sitting in one of the station’s commercial centres is a Regus booth, which places cubicles and ergonomically-designed furniture underneath the baroque ceiling and panelled walls.
Over at Liege station, the Regus office space looks totally different, with smooth white walls and a glass-and-steel staircase, lit with tasteful spotlights and punctuated with light wood furniture.
Sitting at the low, coworking coffee tables are a couple of businesspeople, taking a moment from the bustle of travel to sip a cappuccino and send off a few emails from the comfort of a wraparound armchair. Around 50 clients a day check in here: some as a daily occurrence, some for a fleeting visit.
A marriage of convenience
In 2015, Regus announced a partnership with Belgian railway operator NMBS, which has allowed them to establish Express locations at railway stations all across Belgium.
The partnership reflects a changing attitude towards train stations as business centres. No longer are European stations just places to catch a train and maybe grab a coffee - they have car and bike sharing facilities, car parking and electric car charging points. Now, travellers don’t even need additional transport services – they can work from the station.
“The busiest stations on the Belgian rail network are used by well over 50,000 people each day, and these people will benefit from being able to work or meet on the spot” said William Willems, Regus Regional General Manager for Belgium and Luxembourg.
“This new partnership with NMBS is part of our Europe-wide initiative to place professional work facilities at busy transport locations, including rail stations, airports and motorway service stations.
“Like their neighbours in France and the Netherlands, travellers in Belgium will now be able to use their time more productively when they take the train. This partnership can transform their experience of commuting and working.”
The Regus business model is one of the most flexible in the office market. By allowing people to take their office with them, and check in at hundreds of locations across the globe, they provide their clients with a service that equips them to take on business challenges from London to Ljubljana.
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