Motorway Workhubs Hit Berlin
Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, and Shell Deutschland have launched the first city-wide trial of workhubs in service stations this week in Berlin, Germany.
The ‘Regus Express’ workhubs are open for business in 70 Shell service stations in and around Berlin, with facilities ranging from wifi hotspots to docking stations, business lounges and meeting rooms. The scheme is part of Regus’ 'third place' working initiative, in which they aim to develop a global network of business services at non-traditional locations.
According to Phil Kemp, Global Managing Director at Regus Third Place the demand for more productive ways of working on the move is ‘surging’. “Two thirds of professionals work more on the move than they used to, and we see this reflected very clearly in the way the requirements of our customers are changing. They want to work where, when and how it suits them.”
Now the thought of working out of a service station might not be everyone’s idea of fun but is Kemp right when he claims use of non-traditional workplaces is on the up?
Data from freelance membership association PCG suggests that it isn’t yet the norm by any means when it comes to independent professionals. In fact, the results from a survey they carried out last year show more than half of their members still spend their working day firmly on client site. With a further 32% working from home and just 4% of members using a ‘workhub’, it seems there is a long way to go before the concept of the workplace diversifies too greatly.
That said, according to a 2012 report by independent economist Stephane Rapelli, the number of freelancers working in the EU has grown by a massive 82% in the last ten years and clearly businesses are recognising that there is a growing market to be had in the flexible workforce, something which can only be positive news for our industry.
So, where is the oddest place you’ve found yourself working? Can you beat a service station?