For more than two decades, Regus has been helping businesses of all kinds to work more effectively, in the way that suits them. The company now has 1100 business centres in 500 cities all over the world. Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace, able to meet the needs of large corporates and small businesses alike.
The business started in 1989 when entrepreneur Mark Dixon stopped off in Brussels, Belgium, and noticed how many business people were having work out of hotels and cafes for lack of a more professional environment. He knew there had to be a better way to work on the road and at home. Dixon’s idea was to transform the way companies worked by persuading them to outsource their work place requirements to a specialist provider.
With this goal in mind, he launched Regus in 1989 with a single business centre in Brussels. Demand grew rapidly, and within a few years Regus had established a global network of fully equipped, furnished and staffed offices that businesses could use on flexible terms that met their unique needs. The first offices in China and Latin America were opened in 1994.
Regus moved into the United States in 1998, and subsequently made two crucial acquisitions, that of Stratis in 2001, followed in 2004 by HQ Global Workplaces – then the leading operator of business centres in the US.
Another significant development was the launch in 2005 of Businessworld, a card-based system allowing users to occupy Regus workspace or use Regus services as and when they needed.
Today, more than half of the Fortune 500, along with thousands of small and medium-sized companies, work with or from Regus – in the process reducing their fixed costs, increasing employee productivity, and allowing greater focus on their core business.
In Regus’s early days, the priorities of the typical business customer were to have a clean, well-run office with receptionists; the latest technology being a shared laser fax machines! Nowadays, Regus customers have many different requirements from business lounges with wi-fi access to video communications suites, individual workpods, or flexible, hi-tech meeting-rooms. Or they may choose to use Regus services remotely.
The modern trend towards flexible working has played to Regus’ strengths. For several years now, the pressure on businesses of every size in every sector and every country has been to manage risk, maximize their financial resources, and increase their flexibility to accommodate growth and adapt to market changes.
Among large corporations, this has encouraged many to look again at their property portfolios, which still account for more than 40 percent of the total assets of some of the world’s biggest companies.
At the other extreme, with small businesses or start-ups, survival and viability often depend on effective control of overheads. For companies such as these, Regus provides all the services and facilities they need with none of the fixed costs.
Regus has followed a “right place, right time” strategy, selecting buildings in prime locations in city centres, central business districts or business parks with good transport links – or, more recently, moving into residential areas closer to where people live.
Regus plc is traded on the London Stock Exchange (RGU.L) and maintains an aggressive growth strategy. The company has changed enormously in its 22 years of existence, but only in terms of the products and services it offers to its customers, three-quarters of whom are now flexible, mobile workers. It’s strapline “Work your way” reflects Regus’ enduring determination to provide whatever support its customers require so that they can work as efficiently and effectively as possible wherever and whenever they may be.