Don’t believe the (March) Madness

The build up to March Madness has some employers on edge. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has been long recognized for having a clutching grip on workers who will obsessively follow their bracket selections more closely than their workload in the coming days. It’s a productivity drain that employers are looking to avoid.

But it times to stop looking down on March Madness and instead focus on the positives!

We’ve been hosting March Madness events in our centers and what we’ve learned may surprise employers who want to want to limit access to the big games. Here’s what we’ve seen:

Networking happens: Our business hubs host a mix of customers who view this time as an opportunity to casually network with their business neighbors in addition to watching the games. Customers realize they will be surrounded by potential customers and partners and they use this “downtime” to make new connections. Basketball is the common-bound that helps bring people together, breaks the ice and leads to building better relationships.

Halftime is the new ‘worktime’: Instead of leaving work and heading to the local sports bar, our clients enjoy watching the games from our business lounges. They gather in the area to watch a portion of the game, around halftime some may head back to their office to do some work, and then they’re back in front of the TV to finish it up. Time is money after all. And their bosses appreciate that as well.

Companies have learned to embrace it: Our clients understand that work is no longer confined to traditional hours or traditional locations. They embrace flexibility and are disciplined enough to enjoy the games while still getting the job done.

Computers On Email, Not Basketball: Sure, workers can log onto their computers and have their screens filled with NCAA games but then how would they see their email coming in or work on that next presentation. We’ve seen workers sit with their laptops open and stay productive while watching the games on TV.

Fighting Heart Disease in Women

Regus centres in Charlotte, North Carolina went RED for women this February to raise awareness of women’s heart health.

At the suggestion of one of our clients Regus supported the American Heart Association in the ‘Go Red for Women’ event by encouraging our team members and participating centre clients to wear RED for a day.

Regus Go Red

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national campaign to increase awareness of heart disease and to inspire women to take charge of their heart health. The national campaign has grown into a national movement as more people embrace and elevate the cause of women and heart disease.

The American Heart Association states that heart disease is the number 1 killer in women. Family history, eating habits and sleep patterns are just a few of the factors that raise a woman’s risk for heart disease. But, 80% of heart attacks and strokes can be treated, prevented and even ended if women learn about what puts them at risk and make a change towards fighting it. More information on how to put an end to the number 1 killer in women can be found here.

Brittany Graham: Being Productive in a Let’s Do Lunch Town

When Brittany “Bella” Graham and her long-time friend and associate, Jacqueline Chambers, decided to combine forces on a new collaboration Jacq&Bella- a full-service creative firm- one of their biggest challenges was staying productive as they moved between meetings, business development and other facets of their working day.

“I know it’s cliché, but it’s true”, Graham said.  “Los Angeles really is a “Let’s do lunch” town…most of my business is gained from referrals and relationships.”

She does a lot of lunches and brainstorming sessions, but with more than an hour commute between her home in Long Beach and the epicenters of her business relationships in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Downtown Los Angeles, she was commuting more than an hour in each direction every day.  Plus, as she noted, the gas was costly and the downtime between meetings was not allowing her to maximize her productivity.

BrittanyGraham

The startup entrepreneur decided to take charge when she saw a tweet for a contest sponsored by Regus, the largest provider of flexible office space in the world, on Twitter asking Southern Californians to share their commute nightmares.

“I was really getting tired of going to coffee shops!” exclaimed Graham.  Wanting a place where she could “…shut the door and… not have to buy another coffee”, she entered Regus’s Cut Your LA Commute Contest and won an office and amenities from Regus for a full year.  “And I have my own parking spot!” she said, which is another LA luxury.

Reflecting on this opportunity, Graham was emphatic about the benefits of having her Regus office increasing her credibility.

“Those [potential clients] who don’t know me can also view me as more professional when they see the space”.  This is a point that she thinks is critical for small business owners’ success. “You have to be willing to invest in yourself for others to invest in you. You invest in education to be reputable. You have to invest…to show that you made a commitment…you make the investment to create something better for yourself.  That’s what people respect- someone made an investment in themselves and therefore I feel comfortable giving them my business.”  She often has clients and prospective clients stop by her office at Regus for coffee, with a lot more privacy and professionalism than going to a coffee shop.

“It’s really a dream come true…I am really grateful to Regus”, Graham said, explaining that she sees her office as a tool for small business success.  She explains how having the office near her business contacts saves her from having empty spots in her day that aren’t productive. Plus, having a physical office location keeps her focused and disciplined.  Working from home, she says, she can easily be distracted by the television and wanting to take breaks. Her office environment keeps her on task and in a work state of mind. “The environment, the professional setting…inspires me to get more work done, especially without distractions”.

BrittanyBellaGraham_S

As an entrepreneur that varies her own work between producing tastemaker and film festival events, writing, creative direction, styling, content creation, blogger outreach and more, she appreciates having flexibility in her resources.  She loves connecting with the variety of entrepreneurs that have offices at her Regus location.  She explained how referrals and networking are just another plus from having an office at Regus.  Plus, she is already getting opportunities in other cities and has her sights set on expansion.  “When I want to open another branch, Regus is the first resource I would go to”.

With an office space of her own, a fantastic collaboration partner, tons of creativity and a lot of determination, Brittany and JacqandBella are poised for success.  Who knew that cutting your commute could be such a spark of inspiration?

You can learn more about JacqandBella here and follow Ms. Graham on the Web at www.BrittanyBellaGraham.com and on Twitter and Instagram @MsBellaGraham.

A solution to dead-time on the road?

Self-driving cars may take over the roads at some point in our lives. This isn’t sci-fi – carmakers are already test-running them.

Regus has partnered with Rinspeed to develop a self-driving car concept that transforms the car into a fully-connected workplace and meeting room. The concept backs Regus’s own drive to help people work more productively on the move.

Rinspeed Regus

The car, called the XchangE, is the ideal venue for a meeting for four, and it will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Car journeys could become a time and place for us to do our jobs on the road, in a private space more conducive to work than noisy trains and taxis.

Most self-driving cars still use the traditional design of front and back seats facing forwards. It’s conducive to staring out the window but not to interaction. But
Rinspeed and Regus think differently. The XchangE’s steering wheel slides sideways out of the way of the “driver’, and the two front seats (which are like airline business-class seats in style) swivel backwards.

Rinspeed Regus 1

The result? A sociable, comfortable, mobile space where four people can meet, discuss a deal in private, use their time better and work. Unlike in today’s taxis, the car’s infotainment systems and connectivity mean passengers can easily work online, make a presentation, and fully connect to the office.

Far from being time wasted, the commute to work or a long journey to the airport could become the most productive and profitable part of people’s day. A consultant or sales rep could fit in 7-8 hours of work a day on the road using the XChangE and Regus’ network of business centres (including Regus Express business hubs at motorway service stations and petrol stations).

Regus is continually innovating to help people use their time better, and we’re excited about the XchangE. It backs our commitment to improving the future of work. Journeys become an opportunity to generate revenues, rather than a waste of time and money, and you can start working as soon as you get in the car (assuming you want to; otherwise, you can just enjoy the infotainment systems).

“On the way to/from the airport” could become the best-loved meeting venue in town.

 

Regus help make 35 wishes come true for terminally ill children in India

On the 19th January 2014, 15 Regus team members competed in the world famous Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, running in support of the Make-A-Wish® Foundation of India.

Competing in a variety of distances, from full marathons, half marathons and shorter fun runs, the Regus participants got to see Mumbai from a rare, traffic-free prospective.

Amongst the runners was Regus India COO, Sahil Verma. Inspired by the number of people participating in the event, Sahil felt as if all of Mumbai had turned up either to run or to support those running – even stopping at one point to a dance to a band playing one of his favourite songs. Chris Pullen, Managing Director – Middle East, Central Asia and Caucasus, who also represented Regus in the race, was thankful that the event started early before sunrise so the first couple of hours were still quite cool. Yet, once the sun was up, it was a different matter and quite an effort for an Englishman!

However, behind all the fun was a more serious message. Make-A-Wish® Foundation of India grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. With Regus’ contribution, the foundation will be able to make around 35 wishes come true; and with us also backing other Make-A-Wish® Foundation initiatives across Asia, our support for the welfare of terminally ill children will continue to grow.