Time for An Alternative to Starbucks for Your Virtual Office?

Time for An Alternative to Starbucks for Your Virtual Office?

Many of us these days are working virtual equipped with our smart phones and Ipad, running from appointments to the closest Starbucks, where we set up shop to do our business. Wedged in the corner of our favorite café with babies, loud talkers and the general commotion of being in a public place, it is often challenging to conduct business!  Many times in the middle of a critical conference call I have not been able to hear the important details that have lead to a loss of business.

Starbucks and Panera Bread have been the go-to places for mobile workers for many years. It was a brilliant idea by these companies to create a comfortable environment to “hang-out”, yet as they have become more popular for doing this, it becomes quite difficult to do business here. So what do we do if we want to work away from our home and can’t afford an office space? And what if we need an office space to go to when we travel for our job?

Regus has identified this need for privacy and convenience when doing business and has made it easier for virtual workers to get their work done in a comfortable and accessible environment. Founded in 1989 by Mark Dixon, he saw a need for this service when he stopped off in Brussels, Belgium, where he observed many business people working out of hotels and cafés for lack of a more professional environment. His idea has transformed the way companies and individuals work.

Today, Regus has over 1200 locations in 550 cities internationally and is rapidly growing by establishing 200 business centers every month. It is the world’s largest provider of flexible work space, with products and service ranging from fully equipped office for rent, to professional meeting rooms, business lounges where you can bring your own Starbucks Iced Latté with soy. Regus also has the world’s largest network of video communication studios. It has over 1,000,000 customers a day who use Regus’s facilities to enable them to work their own way with a flexible cost structure that is affordable for the small business owner.

Scott Nelles, VP of Operations in Chicago says, “There Is a trend shift of hiring the best employees, wherever they live. Regus provides a value cost alternative to a traditional office that is located close to where they live.” Regus has three options for the workers. One option is the more traditional shared office model, where you can lease an office on a monthly or annual basis and pay a set fee for your own office within their offices. The second option is the “virtual office” which is great if you work from home and just need a legitimate office address, someone to answer your phone and the use of meeting rooms at many of the Regus locations. Regus also provides the Businessworld Gold Card that allows you to work from their many  lounges anywhere in the world and access to other needed services for a monthly fee.

Prices for any of the programs can be customized with virtual offices starting at $99/month and the Businessworld Gold Card at $30/month. This pricing is based on you and your firms need. I love the Businessworld Gold Card, where I will have access to the Regus “Clubs” all over the world. It sounds like a much better alternative than my local Starbucks. I can get my work finished and then get an iced latté and leisurely read the paper and not worry about doing business, as it should be.

For more information on Regus and it locations, of which they have many in Chicago’s Downtown area, Michigan Avenue, West Loop and Lincoln Park go to www.regus.com or 1-800-offices.

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