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When your company is rapidly growing in size, a trusted real estate partner becomes crucial, says Regus founder Mark Dixon
During recent interviews for CNBC and Bloomberg, Mark Dixon talked about the changing landscape of corporate workspace. He spoke of an evolved approach to business expansion, which today goes far beyond the conventional formula of opening a single office in a central location.
“What the modern customer wants – the modern corporation – they want to use workspace across a country,” Dixon said.
“The days of ‘headquarter buildings’ and people commuting are [numbered], and will be a rarity in five years’ time. That’s what’s causing the change. You need to be where people live, not where people work.”
Dixon added that, when it comes to placing trust in a corporate real-estate provider to scale up their office portfolio, companies need to feel confident they are in safe hands. “One thing corporations don’t want is an unreliable partner,” he said. “If you’re supplying everything [in a workplace] from the IT service to the desks, it’s got to work, it’s got to be reliable.
“We’ve been doing this for 30 years, starting off with one business centre in Brussels, and now we’ve got nearly 3,500 flexible workspace locations. This is a business where there are no shortcuts. And it’s very operationally intense – you’ve got to execute well all day, every day.”
Regus is the longest standing brand of IWG, the world’s leading workspace provider, whose growing portfolio includes coworking brand Spaces, budget option HQ and luxury members club No18. The multi-brand offering allows customers to easily demand hybrid workspace solutions, with different brands catering to different teams working needs, or appealing to regional differences.
Dixon also highlighted how the group as a whole maintains a “disciplined” approach to growth and investment, remaining an open book to both customers and investors: “What you have to have in our industry is great disclosure. We’re a public company with a huge amount of disclosure – that’s what investors want. You’ve got to bring investors up to speed with what we do and how we make a profit.”
Flexible-office space is increasingly seen as more of a service-based sector than one that’s simply about a physical premises. As well as providing high-quality serviced offices and coworking space all over the world on a flexible basis, Regus offers meeting rooms for hire and a virtual-office plan.
And in terms of expansion, Regus’ franchising strategy allows it to grow sensibly – sharing liability with local partners, and harnessing their on-the-ground expertise.
“In order to achieve the goal of national coverage – every town, city and suburb – it has to be done with partners: franchise partners, building-owner partners and investor partners,” says Dixon.
“We’ve got a very optimistic outlook, and we’re continuing with our strategy. The sector’s still very good, so is growth – we’re growing 15% ourselves each year.”
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