today I’m gonna talk about my experience with Regus. I got to know regus through elance.com , a freelancing platform I use. In one of the posts they made they talked about it due to the new wave of people that are starting to “work differently”. I was kinda, hmmm, let me see, so I pay 47$ per month and I have access to a truly global net of offices, in mostly any big city throughout the world, where I have a business lounge where I can sit and work (I work a lot in my laptop), with a secure and decent speed internet connection, free treats and snacks along with coffee and some drinks? Really?
So I contacted them through their web form and the next day I was contacted by a representative in Portugal. She was very helpful, explained how it worked, what I could do, forwarded me some documents with the agreements and rules and told me the price. I was thinking of paying the 47$ dollars because when translated to euros it even becomes cheaper and I receive in dollars from many of my works, but it seemed that I would have to pay 47€, with what I wasn’t very happy, because I thought, well I should be able to subscribe through the web and have that price. I was told the minimum time for a subscription would be 3 month but the next time we talked she apologised because after speaking with whoever deals with the european subscriptions, she was told that the minimum was 6 months. I ended up doing one year for the hell of it and a one free month. You don’t have to pay it all right away so as I intend to keep using it, I thought it wouldn’t be a problem.
You usually receive a personal card that you then bring with you whenever you visit one of their centres, but since I was starting my trip next week I was unable to receive mine. There wouldn’t be any problem I was guaranteed, I just had to give my associate number plus an id card (in case) to access the centres.
Next day I went there again more or less by regular lunch hours. I was a bit sweaty and carrying everything with me, I actually apologised for the way I was arriving – ah ah – but either way I was very well received and I was showed the business lounge, explained how it worked, asked if I wanted a drink or a coffee. Really great. I then sit to work a bit and I ended up printing my flight ticket there which is very comfortable if you’re on the move. The internet connection wasn’t really speedy but I was uploading large files (250mb), on the other hand for regular internet work, checking mails, skype, calls, etc it worked flawlessly. They were very attentive there, one of the receptionists came to check on me if I had everything I needed and so. I was really wowed by it. Super well located, very good looking and you even have an iMac to use if by any reason you don’t have your computer with you – not that nowadays there’s many people without a laptop, notebook, tablet or smartphone but still really cool. I then went out to the same kiosks again while I waited for my friend Nádia to arrive.
The second time I visited one of their offices in Madrid, but it seems it was still being put up. Nonetheless it was well located and nice to work at. Then I visited them in Barcelona, where once again people were very welcoming and friendly and once again in Lyon, where for the first time I went there twice (although for small amounts of time). Aline was also very friendly. I have to remind myself the names of people, really, but sometimes it’s difficult for me shah.
So, I think all in all this seems like a very good option if you have to change cities a lot of times. Of course this is more projected to high profile corporate clients, their offices are also very expensive to rent, but I love that in the middle of this they found a way to provide working places for people interested in them at such a cheap rate with so much commodity, attention and in such great places. I’m not yet convinced I needed this kind of workplace because up till now I’ve always been in houses of people with internet, but on the other hand it feels good to go out for working and focusing on working alone and having a place you know you can go if needed. This plan of association is not for renting an office, keep that in mind, they are very specific about that, this is to provide you with a place to work when you move. You’re restricted to 10 visits per month to each center, which I find is more than reasonable. 5 would have been enough. If you’re thinking of setting up your office through this association you better think twice, you’ll be charged extra rates and I can completely understand why, I mean it makes sense. If you want to rent an office rent an office.
I think this kind of structures will start developing quicker now. They say the working landscape is definitively changing and that in some years it won’t have anything to do with what we are used right now. I believe that. On the other hand, globalisation although many of its side-effects (that I believe we’ll be able to overcome by creating more intelligent and organic forms of organisation) is paving the way for a global community of people that no longer see the world as divided by geo-political power, but rather by groups of people working with the same tools and for the same end.
As internet spreads over, also these kind of structures will spread. Just think about it, why pay for a rent on a fixed house if there was an alternative system, where you paid a fixed rent and could live 1 week in one country/city, one month on another one, 2 on the other side of the atlantic and so on.But it wouldn’t be an hotel, it wouldn’t be based on services for people being hosted there.
I wouldn’t mind paying this rent to be truthful. And I think that will come along soon. If I get a business angel to pour in a significant amount of money, I have it all sketched, and it would work on so so so many levels. The company would be called Paradigma and the housing would be just amazing in many ways – simple, but so effective it would completely open up a new world of opportunities. Maybe when I finish this trip I’ll pull it forward. But much of it is already sketched, the remaining would be legal and technical issues. Oh please come forward 🙂
See you soon,