FIFTEEN years ago this month the world’s largest workspace provider, Regus, opened a business centre in Basingstoke’s Chineham Park.
Since then, flexible workspace in the Regus centre, at Pinewood, in Crockford Lane, has made it easier for hundreds of firms to do business – from local start-ups to multinationals – who use the centre for a few hours, months or years.
Across its 220 UK locations, Regus has witnessed the trend for companies to turn away from traditional leased offices as they strive to keep overheads down and work in more productive, modern and environmentally-conscious ways.
It is no coincidence that the biggest growth area of the company’s business is ‘on demand’ workspace - such as offices or hot desks on a shared, part-time or drop-in basis – as well as meeting rooms and virtual offices.
These trends are especially evident in Chineham Park, where the centre is currently refurbishing its drop-in business lounge and extending its shared ‘campus’ office to meet new demand.
The centre is also seeing a greater number of meeting room bookings, particularly from other companies on the business park, which reflects local firms’ decreasing reliance on permanent in-house space and their move towards external services.
Sheridan Maine, the financial and accountancy recruitment specialist, has been based at the Regus centre for over eight years.
Gaynor Brindley, regional director at Sheridan Maine, said: “Flexibility, the services available and choice in locations are the main reasons we chose Regus – and why we stay.
“Here at Chineham we have a serviced office, which saves us having to set up our own facilities like reception and deal with issues like general maintenance – plus we have a wide selection of meeting rooms under the same roof.
“We can just ring reception and book a suitable room. It’s also important for us that we have plenty of parking so we never have a problem accommodating clients, and there are excellent public transport links.” As a national company that works with companies of all sizes – from small firms to FTSE 100 corporations - Sheridan Maine also makes use of Regus’ wider network. “It’s reassuring to know that we can use locations across the country, at a moment’s notice,” said Gaynor. John Spencer, UK managing director at Regus said: “We are proud that the Basingstoke centre has reached its fifteenth birthday and I extend my personal thanks to the centre team, who I know work closely with our customers to keep things running smoothly.
“Business has changed so much over the last fifteen years, and as a company we have innovated our offering to suit the modern workplace. For instance, the rise of remote and mobile working is leading to huge demand for drop-in space, such as our business lounges or day offices, which offer a productive way to work on the move or an alternative to working from home.
“Flexible workspace is especially in demand at the moment as the UK emerges from the economic downturn. It is used by companies looking for a convenient way to set up base and expand the business – whether in the UK or abroad – without the hassle of worrying about how to find new premises as they outgrow their space.”