Mobile staff get pit stop
With fast technology, network improvements and a rapidly growing variety of instruments for communication, the demand for a speedy response is increasing, as we aim to use every possible moment to get our daily work done sooner.
At the same time, the numbers making up the flexible workforce are also quickly growing, including salespeople, media workers, employees of companies that hope to save on office space, part-time workers, self-employed, travelling executives and many others.
Three pilot projects undertaken in Europe aim to help these people manage their working time better.
Shell has partnered Regus to make professional workplaces available at some of its petrol stations in Europe. The first Regus business lounge opened 27km southwest of Paris on the A10 highway's Limours-Janvry service station. Flexiworkers on the road can use the workplace's standard business facilities, such as a reliable internet connection, scanner and copier, and they can print documents from their laptops, tablets, BlackBerries or smartphones.
They can also use the meeting and Thinkpod working spaces available. It is also possible to arrange courier deliveries and get help from a virtual concierge. An enthusiastic user has posted a picture on foursquare and commented that the business centre was 'really cool with a computer, scanner and printer'.
To access the Regus business lounge, travellers can buy a day pass at the Shell checkout. Members of Regus Businessworld, which offers drop-in access to more than 1,200 Regus business centres around the world, can enter free of charge by simply swiping their Regus Businessworld card.
Mark Dixon, chief executive of Regus, says: 'Research shows there are about 1 billion mobile workers globally. Though they communicate and work using smartphones, tablets and laptops, they miss access to a professional place to work, meet or think where there is easy access to state-of-the-art business facilities.
'Shell and Regus are bringing vibrant business hubs right to the roadside. Many people will be able to work more productively in a professional business environment while on the move.'
The concept is expected to be rolled out across Shell's British network in the near future.
Regus and SNCF, the French state-owned rail company, will install drop-in business centres at some of the 3,000-station network as it seeks to cater for the trend towards mobile working.