For over two decades, Regus has built its reputation as the world’s leading provider of serviced workspaces—with business centers, executive suites, conference rooms, lounges, and virtual offices spanning 3000 locations, 900 cities, and 120 countries. With a trusted network of centers across the globe, Regus is the preferred choice for clients such as Apple, Toshiba, and Google in the Philippines. This month, Regus opens their 24th workspace in the Philippines, a testament to their solid and unwavering presence.
On May 30, 2016, the Regus Office at McKinley Town Centre finally opens its doors. The newly launched office is ideal for long-term tenants as well as temporary space rentals—featuring 34 offices, 179 work stations, 2 meeting rooms, a business lounge, and café. To learn the story behind the company’s regional progress and their ongoing global expansion, Flyspaces had the unique opportunity to speak with Lars Wittig, Country Manager for Regus Philippines.
McKinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio
KEEPING CALM AMID THE ASIAN CRISIS
In 1999, Regus established its very first office space in the Philippines at The Enterprise Center in Makati, in the thick of the Asian financial crisis. “That was very remarkable timing,” begins Lars Wittig. “Investors, corporations, big companies—regardless of industry—were circumventing not just the Philippines, but also South East and East Asia. We did the opposite.”
“We took the two top floors of Tower 2 at The Enterprise Center. There were 85,000 square meters that had just been turned over, and there were only two tenants besides us,” Wittig continues. “It very quickly became a very big success for us, but also for The Enterprise, and not least of all, the Philippines. What happened was a lot of companies saw an opportunity to maybe make a ‘soft touchdown’ in the Philippines, test the waters. And we’re all about flexibility—so it was easy in and easy out. Luckily, many of them decided the Philippines was a viable market, and these companies would stay with us and wait until the awful times got better.”
“We were like an incubator for these companies—and also for The Enterprise... We worked together with the landlords to retain their tenants. In that regard, it was great for the Philippines as well, with modest reference to inclusive growth,” says Wittig.
To drive home the significance of their constant development, Wittig concludes, “Up until four years ago, we had four locations [in the Philippines]. This month, four years later, we are opening our 24th location.” Regus currently operates 21 offices in Manila, 2 in Cebu, and 1 in Clark.
Joy Nostalg Center, Ortigas
EMBRACING GLOBAL TRENDS
Besides providing local companies with affordable and reliable work spaces through the years, the Regus Group has served international firms including Apple, Yahoo, CBS Broadcasting, and HBO. When asked about the brand’s global-minded philosophy, Wittig asserted that it helps to be aware of the modern landscape, keeping up with technology, and “embracing global trends.”
“If I say Uber, it's pretty much the same thing: a shared economy, and that is what we are embracing for the recently opened spaces, and for the future,” he expounds. “It means that every asset is utilized much better.” Wittig cites the maximized capacity and convenience provided by services like Uber and AirBnB, comparing it to their current approach. “We believe that we are very much representing that shared economy as well.”
Another trend is the rising demand for flexible work spaces, both here and abroad. “If you really want to embrace and manage flexible hours and the growing number of remote workers, we should not leave it to the employees to go and drain their resources at coffee shops. We should give them a solution… access to all of our locations in the country and worldwide. Just drop in and for free, avail of the coffee and Wi-Fi,” says Wittig.
Regus Polar Centre, Mandaluyong
MAKING THE WORK STATION THE DESTINATION
Another proud achievement is Regus’ proliferation in unconventional locations, such as public libraries in Singapore and drop-in lounges at strategic airports, gas stations, and train stations across Europe, such as Heathrow in London.
“We make the train stations the destination for everybody, not only yourself,” Wittig begins. “That is how we as a group show how we diversify… So you go from Paris to Amsterdam, and we have a huge lounge, a business center which is basically all shared space lounges and meeting rooms… Or these big modern gas stations, where big corporations have lots of company cars. And every employee will have a corporate gas card. And on the gas card it says Regus, so in these gas stations they can just avail of the free coffee, sit down, go online, make a few customer calls, and book the next meeting. Before [these places] were just transit, but now they are the destination. Again, it is about optimizing the productivity. We are meeting the demand, putting ourselves in the user’s position.”
This fierce commitment to innovation and customer-centric service has kept Regus far ahead of the pack, and will continue to push the business of flexible work spaces in a forward, inclusive direction.
Net Lima, Bonifacio Global City