Welcome Break is joining forces with Regus, the global workspace company, to open drop-in business centres at its motorway service areas.
Membury Services on the M4, 10 miles from Swindon, is the first Welcome Break service area to feature Regus Express, offering a high-tech business lounge with ThinkPods (private workstations), wifi, iMacs and complimentary refreshments as well as bookable meeting rooms.
Phil Kemp, global managing director at Regus Third Place, says: “Two in five UK professionals are now classed as ‘flexible workers’ as they are free to work outside their company’s main office for at least half the week, thanks to new technologies and shifting attitudes to the physical workplace.
“In the early days of teleworking, working from home and meeting contacts in cafes or hotel lobbies were the only options. But flexible working has created huge demand for professional facilities that bridge the gap between the traditional office and the home office - so-called ‘third places’.
“We are intent on expanding our network of third places that make flexible working more productive, and our partnership with Welcome Break marks another step towards that goal.”
Welcome Break, which operates 27 services areas in the UK, is the latest in a series of ‘Third Place’ deals signed by Regus. Others include Extra MSA Group, which launched Regus Express on the UK motorway network earlier this year; and Shell, which is currently rolling out 70 business centres in its service stations across Berlin.
Gary Cranford, business manager for West Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, part of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce Group, said: “So many people these days have to work outside the office and need a professional space to touch down. It’s great news that there is a new Regus location at Welcome Break Membury Services - this will certainly be welcomed by members travelling on the M4, particularly between Swindon, Newbury and onto London.”
Members of the Chamber already received access to the Regus network of business lounges nationally as part of their membership.
Welcome Break CEO Rod McKie commented: “We know that our service areas are used by local traffic as much as long distance, and that customers are crying out for somewhere professional to work. They may be outside their traditional office but they still need access to office-type facilities – even if it’s just for 10 minutes to print, email or meet a contact.
“We are committed to extending our range of premium services and have always been an innovator – such as being the first operator to launch electric car charging points. Providing high-tech business centres is an exciting development for our brand.”
Consumers can access the business centres with a Regus Businessworld card (£25/month) or by buying a pass in Staples stores, WH Smith travel stores or online at www.regusdirect.co.uk Passes start from £5 per day, and can be used at all 160 Regus centres in the UK.