It’s often said that there’s no more blurring of the lines between work and personal life – the boundaries have completely disappeared thanks to the flexibility offered by personal technology.
As a result of our work habits no longer being bound by cubicle walls or the office work hours of 9-5, we’re working at any time we choose and in any place we can. That might be our home office (or kitchen table), a coffee shop that offers WiFi, or perhaps a temporary office space such as those provided by Regus Business Centres. Wayne Berger, the country manager of Canada for Regus, hopes that more often than not it’s the latter. In this Hangouts on Air session, Wayne and I discuss how Regus is adapting to a workplace world transformed by technology and a new generation that insists on taking down walls in favour of open, collaborative spaces. Berger says Regus is growing in Canada and opening up new locations that offer an environment that is different from what the company may have done in the past.
Berger has been in his role with Regus for eight months and previously worked with Staples for a decade, so he’s no stranger to the office space. Just riding the train on his commute to his Toronto office is enough to demonstrate to Berger that the definition of the work day is changing – he often sees people connected, whether it be on a laptop or mobile device, and not afraid to engage in a web conference with colleagues. It’s that desire to work outside of the office that’s driven growth at Regus from about 20 locations to 74 locations in the last five years in Canada – and they’re still growing.
“What we’re seeing from people and clients is they’re looking to have access to flexible sites,” Berger says.
The reliance on coffee shops to jump on WiFi was the natural tendency about 10 years ago, because it was the one accessible place you could actually find WiFi outside your home or office. But factors such as a demand for more security and a professional presentation in some situations is turning people off of those spaces.
“One of the challenges with having that much open technology is the challenge of security and keeping your information enclosed,” he says. “We found that less of a challenge at an environment here at Regus and more of a challenge at the coffee shop.”
Naturally, as the country manager, Berger is no stranger to all sorts of Regus locations across Canada. Whether he’s taking meetings around the Greater Toronto Area or on visits to western Canada, he relies on Regus office space to meet clients regularly. But his favourite location to work at? The one that’s just five minutes commute from his home – you can’t beat that short a commute.
During our Hangouts session, Berger also addresses how Regus’ office design is adapting to a more open and collaborative work space approach while still providing options for quiet offices that limit distractions. He also explains how Regus fits into the picture with startups in Canada at a time when incubators and accelerators are offering office space to entrepreneurs looking to get their business off the ground.
Watch the video above for the full interview.