Cheap Co-working at Regus

Regus is a huge player in office accommodation with over 1,000 offices globally. They’re notoriously quite an expensive option for a micro start-up, but do offer flexible terms and the ability to scale. Their business has been disrupted a bit by the meteoric rise in co-working spaces which have popped up in many cities. In response, Regus is aggressively pushing their BusinessWorld membership which provides access to their business lounges; large rooms with a bunch of hot-desk spaces.

Free printing and refreshments are nice, but the lounges appear to be purposefully designed not to encourage long-stays (raised breakfast tables, Sky News in the background). The lounges have a continual flow of transient executive-types coming in and out and the atmosphere lacks any of the co-operation or social interaction that true co-working tries to foster. It’s still a fairly smart move by Regus; it can be viewed as a marketing vehicle to capture young upstarts that might then grow into needing dedicated workspaces.

Nevertheless, despite its flaws, they do offer great value. Membership runs at around £17-42 per month (inclusive of VAT), depending on whether you opt for a local, national, or worldwide access. This compares favourably against other co-working options (which are usually >£150/month in the UK).

Better still, there’s something of a loophole that can be taken advantage of to give even cheaper membership. Business Traveller is a pretty dry magazine for execs on the move. An annual subscription costs £38.65 and comes with a free global BusinessWorld membership. Toss the magazine in the bin each month if you wish and you’re effectively getting the work space for a little over £3/month.

 Tags: Random   Published: 7th June '11


2 Archived Wordpress Comments

Chris Woods

Hi Keith,
Thanks for taking a look at businessworld. It is not positioned as a rival to coworking; rather it’s another ‘third place’ option that the increasingly mobile/flexible workforce can take advantage of.
We’ve recently published some significant research on the subject, in a report called ‘VWork’ which your readers can read here: http://www.slideshare.net/REGUSmedia
Other options/offers for the startup businesses that Regus (my company) has in the UK include:
– business start up kit for £149 here: http://www.regusdirect.co.uk/business-start-up-kit/index.html
– campus offices (cheaper and more suited to networking than private offices): call 0870 351 9438 for details
– StartUp Britain businessworld offers for both startups and established companies looking to grow: http://startupbritain.org/

Keith Mander

Many thanks for dropping by Chris; I’m always super impressed to see companies who have their ears to the ground and get involved in the conversation :)

You’re totally right that businessworld isn’t framed in the same way as coworking. It does certainly seem that you’re attracting more of the employed mobile worker/executive than the transient entrepreneur. I guess as a micropreneur, I’m really trying to evaluation all my options at the lower end of the spectrum and that’s where I do then make comparisons with alternatives.

The startup kit looks pretty good – but it’s just not relevant to me at all and think it’ll be of diminishing importance in the future too. Will have to look into the campus’s more.

On the whole, I’m delighted with my Regus membership, especially with the sneaky saving. The locations are fantastic and service is great. But I’ve now visited about a dozen of the business lounges and a don’t find them to be particularly conducive for work. For a start, there needs to be more Think Pod’s and less arm chairs!