Flexible workspace provider to open 3,000 sites across UK
Flexible workspace provider International Workplace Group (IWG) is set to increase the number of locations around the UK from 400 to 3,000 in the next five years.
Richard Morris, UK CEO for IWG, said they were responding to a workspace revolution where workers were turning their backs on long commutes in favour of smaller, tech-enabled offices closer to home.
IWG’s brands include Regus, Spaces, HQ, Signature by Regus, No18 and Basepoint. Last week it was announced that OBI had let four floors totalling 26,359 sq ft at St James’s Tower, in Manchester, to Regus following a £3m investment by the building’s owner.
Morris told BusinessCloud: “IWG is the world’s leading provider of flexible work space. There’s this really important emerging trend where companies want to use real estate differently and we’re responding to those needs. Businesses want flexibility and we provide workspace as a service to companies all around the world through our network.
“We’re using the latest technology to provide better experience for people who use the buildings, for example, a lot more technology to enable individuals to personalise their space, whether that’s around lighting or temperature, all done through an app on a smartphone.
“Users of the building can individualise how the building works for them, also using technology to manage the buildings more effectively. That comes down to things like managing their environmental performance, managing the way in which the building is used, and keeping it fresh and relevant to the different people who use the building.”
Research by Regus found 73 per cent of Brits believe that flexible working is the ‘new normal’, with 53 per cent of professionals globally now working remotely for at least half their working week.
He said today’s millennials wanted something different from their office space. “Younger people coming into the workforce have an expectation that the workplace and the space that they’re working in, will be less formal, more inspiring, and enable and engender collaborative working,” he said.
“The style of working that those younger people will be used to is different to being sat at a desk 9-5, Monday to Friday. That how we’re responding to that. It’s about making the space multifunctional and adaptable to different kinds of user.”
Morris, who has previously spoken about the troubles at rival WeWork, said IWG’s plan was to scale.
“We’re currently in 130 countries in 1,500 cities and in the UK, we’ve got 400 locations today,” he said. “We think the end point is to have around 3,000 locations across the country in the next five years. This is because people will want to work closer to home. Work will be something that you do not somewhere you go. That’s because the way that technology is enabling mobility, enabling flexibility around where work gets done.
“We believe that providing high quality conveniently located workspace right across the UK will enable individuals and companies to be much more creative and imaginative about how they let their people work from a location point of view. And let’s face it, you know your people don’t want to spend hours and hours a day commuting.
“What we’re here to do is to build this infrastructure to help other businesses be agile, and to help other businesses provide choice to their people around where they work and how they get their work done.”