We use Airbnb on business trips, order an Uber to get from one meeting to the next, and lease – rather than own or outright buy – our software. Now, alternatives to traditional leasing of office space are entering the mainstream in New Zealand, with the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace leading the charge.
Regus, founded in Belgium in 1989, may not be a widely recognised brand in New Zealand – yet – but internationally its presence is indisputable, with over 3,000 locations in 1,000 towns and cities across 120 countries. Two-and-a-half million people are Regus ‘members’ – the term the organisation uses for its clients, who range in size and type from very large, global brands to entrepreneurs and startups (Google, Microsoft and Dell all use Regus offices around the globe).
In New Zealand, Regus has offices in Auckland and Wellington, and has announced plans for South Island openings later this year and in early 2018.
The word you will hear most often associated with Regus is flexibility. It is possible to get almost any kind of space, in any size, for any term – even an hour, a day, a week or a month at a time.
“People choose this way of working for reasons that are as individual and unique as their business is,” says country manager for Regus in New Zealand, Pierre Ferrandon, a French national who will oversee a massive expansion plan in this country over the next three years.
He says flexible workspaces hold appeal for businesses large and small.
“For some, it’s a way of making that first move out of a home office and into professional space. They would never otherwise be able to afford the quality of fit-out in our centres, or the additional services we provide like reception and administrative support. Growing businesses like the idea of being able to enter new markets anywhere in the world, and have a solid base to test the viability of a market, or enter it for the first time. Corporates and large organisations see the benefits of dispersing their workforce in ways that support, rather than undermine productivity. Flexible working space brings the workplace closer to clients, and closer to where staff live, eliminating a lot of the hassle and costs associated with traffic congestion.”
Employee satisfaction is a big driver for flexible workspace users, but the bottom line is equally important.
“We remove the burden of property management so people can focus on running their businesses. Not having to worry about the big and small things that go with a traditional office lease frees up hundreds or thousands of hours a year, depending on the size of the organisation.”
For example, maintenance and cleaning are taken care of and kitchens and bathrooms are stocked with the essentials.
“We have the support services and facilities it takes to get the job done.”
New accounting standards that will come into force around New Zealand in 2019 are another reason organisations are reconsidering the traditional lease. The new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS16) will require corporates to carry their leases on their balance sheets. Workspace as a service helps mitigate the financial impact of these changes, as members typically sign for service agreements that are shorter in term and more flexible in nature.
But it is not just commercial tenants who are eyeing office space in new ways; landlords are too, with many approaching Regus to help them deliver to the demand for different ways and places of work.
And that demand looks set to continue. “We opened our first suburban location on Constellation Drive on the North Shore in September, and in October, we announced we will be expanding into the South Island with new sites in Dunedin and Christchurch. That is just the beginning, with more offices planned for the main centres, regional cities and satellite locations outside of CBDs where it makes sense for businesses to locate their staff. There is more big news to come.”
To see what Regus can offer your business, visit regus.co.nz.
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