What’s the one thing no business traveler can be without?

Today’s business travelers expect to slip seamlessly between cities, countries and even continents. But what are the absolute essentials without which business on the move would completely collapse? We’ve been searching for the most important items for the business traveler, and we’ve come up with the following five. 

1. Wi-Fi In every piece of research we have commissioned or read, easy access to the Internet comes top of the business traveler’s list. Indeed, quality of Internet access and ease of using it is becoming the key one factor that determines which hotel these travelers stay in – and even which airport they fly from – on business.

2. A quiet space to work in The internet may be high-tech, but the second most important item for business travelers is as old as travel itself: a quiet chair and table to work. According to research businessmen and women value lounge space so highly that they would even be prepared to pay for it themselves. The United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs also found that 36 per cent of people from Generations X and Y say they prefer to work in the lounge, rather than in a private room, as opposed to just 17 per cent of older people.

3. Something to drink We all work better when we’re hydrated, especially when we’re on the move and hopping in and out of planes, trains and automobiles. But a growing number of us have also come to depend on a ready source of hot drinks – coffee and tea – to keep us going through the day. So it’s hardly a surprise that knowing where they can find a decent café comes high up on so many business travellers’ lists.

4. A printer that works Even in our increasingly paper-free world, there comes a time when we all ‘need a hard copy’ of whatever it is we’re working on. A PDF just doesn’t have the same magic as a beautiful piece of paper. And it’s an awful lot harder to sign. So every business traveler needs a place to print things out – confidentially.

5. A private place: It’s amazing how much you can achieve in the ‘third space’ when you’re travelling on business. Even so, there are still times when we need somewhere discreet to talk. Travelers cite price negotiations, feedback sessions and even presentations as stages that can only be properly handled in private.

Do you agree? Do you disagree? Use the comment section below to let us know what you think.

High Street Partners Collaborates with Regus to Simplify International Expansion

High Street Partners (HSP), the leader in international business software and services, and Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, have expanded their partnership to provide enhanced services and support for organizations that require new in-country workplaces as well as on-the-ground resources and consulting to support new staff.

“Regus has been a fantastic partner to us over the years, and together we have helped some of the world’s fastest-growing, innovative businesses simplify international expansion,” said David Kubick, vice president of Channels and Business Development at High Street Partners. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Regus in 2014 and look forward to introducing joint offerings this year that make entry into new markets even easier.”

Working collaboratively, HSP and Regus provide streamlined access to more than 100 countries, offering a standardized, one-stop-shop approach to procuring space and making it operational as quickly as possible. Once a mutual customer selects an ideal space through Regus, they can immediately leverage HSP’s OverseasConnect v 2.0 software platform to manage everything from payroll and taxes to HR. Both companies also offer extensive experience with compliance and can advise customers on what they must do to comply with unique regulations and laws in each country.

Regus Opens its Doors During Philadelphia Ice Storm

Thousands of homes and business are without power due to the recent ice storms in the area, making it difficult for remote workers and small businesses to get up and running again. Regus, the global flexible workspace provider, is opening all of its operational Philadelphia business centers for free for those who need access to reliable power and internet. Each business center will have free wi-fi and coffee. Additional services, such as printing, faxing and private meeting rooms, are available for a small fee.

The below centers in the Philadelphia region will be free and open to the public on Friday, February 7 and Monday, February 10:

1500 Market Street, 12th Floor, East Tower, Philadelphia

1650 Market Street, Suite 3600, Philadelphia

150 Monument Road, Suite 207, Bala Cynwyd

1 International Plaza, Suite 550, Philadelphia

630 Freedom Business Center, 3rd Floor, King of Prussia

Three Westlakes, 1055 Westlakes Drive, 3rd Floor, Berwyn

923 Haddonfield Rd., 3rd Floor, Building B2, Cherry Hill, NJ

309 Fellowship Road, East Gate Center, Suite 200, Mt. Laurel, NJ

How to Get More From Your Conference Calls in Less Time

If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a great parody video on what a conference call is like in real life.  Unfortunately, the video is funny because it’s true. Conference calls can become a black hole of unproductivity, but with mobile workforces, they are a reality for businesses everywhere.

So, how can you get the most from your conference calls without them taking all day?  Here are a few tips:

Circulate an Agenda in Advance: Not only will setting an agenda give you a roadmap for keeping the call on topic and productive, but circulating it in advance will give participants time to prepare.  State the call’s objective, participants, agenda outline and time allotted.  That will minimize the need for introductions and let everyone know what needs to be completed in a specific time frame.

Keep it Manageable: The more participants in a call that feel the need to be heard, the longer and less productive your call will likely be.  Ensure that all participants need to be present and be clear that notes will be circulated post-call to recap takeaways for everyone who isn’t mission-critical to be participate.

Have a Designated “Bad Cop”: Have the leader of a call or other head participant be designated to be the person to keep the call on task. Remind everyone of the time limit at the beginning of the call.  As time goes on, feel free to use segues like, “We only have about 15 minutes left” to mark the time.  Also, if someone gets off topic, offer to address the issue in a separate discussion. Pick someone for this task who can be “bad” in a “good” way- i.e., someone who is affable in their productive dialogue.

Recap: Before ending the call, give a high level recap of things discussed, action items and deliverables and who is responsible for each, all with firm dates.  As soon as practicable, follow-up after the call with notes incorporated into the original agenda.  Don’t forget to distribute not only to the attendees, but to anyone else needed on the team or project.

Meet in Person: While conference calls can be convenient, you risk productivity if participants are distracted in their offices or on the road.  For important meetings, schedule a time to meet in person, perhaps in a location central to all participants.  Regus’s meeting rooms are a perfect option for a meeting like this, as they can be rented by the hour.

Leverage Technology: If one or more participants aren’t able to meet in person, think about using technology like video conferencing (video conference suites are also available through Regus).  Having a video connection minimizes participants’ ability to slack off and lose focus during the call.

These tips should help you to make your conference calls shorter as well as more productive, giving you and your employees more valuable time for work or play.

Committed to our Communities

With a presence in more than 100 countries, people from around the world are experiencing and benefiting from Regus’ generosity throughout the year.  From fundraising efforts to support a local school or food bank, to toy drives during the holiday season, Regus team members and our customers actively support organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those in need right in our communities.  By volunteering our time and resources we hope our neighbors in the community will benefit from our efforts.  Part of our mission in each market we operate in is to share our success and ultimately, make help each city improve the quality of life for its residents.

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Even though we are a global organization, we direct our support to local areas we believe are crucial to local community development, education and essential services.

Each small effort will have a long-lasting positive result in a community. We encourage all our team members and customers to make some time to give back.