Office in a Pod: Workbox Could Give Road Warriors Some Privacy

The international workspace-rental firm Regus wants to make it easier for businesspeople to get work done on the go. Its work pods could offer them an option that's way more attractive—and private—than the nearest coffee shop.

Working in hotel lobbies can be inspiring, and logging on at Starbucks certainly hasn’t lost its luster. That said, sometimes what you really need when you’re out of town is an honest-to-gosh office.

That’s the thinking behind the new Workbox concept by Regus, a company known for its office space rental facilities. The idea: offering all the comforts of a real office in a small space.

The concept puts many office conveniences—including a place to plug in and a spot to print—in places like shopping malls and hotels. The Workbox itself, which looks a bit like a pod, is designed to give users privacy. As the video above shows, the goal is to allow people to work on the go without some of the usual downsides. The box uses acoustic insulation to ensure that road warriors have quiet, and the space is equipped to allow videoconferencing and listening to music privately.

London’s Gatwick Airport will get the innovation first, allowing travelers to use the pods at a $8.30-per-hour rate or a $16.61-per-day rate, according to the Financial Times. Regular users can also get a membership.

Regus also plans to hit Washington state’s Puget Sound region, which will also get more coffee-shop-like “business corner” spaces. (The prices for these spaces, which haven’t been decided upon yet, will include a $25 monthly fee.) The Luxembourg-based company already has a wide reach in the Seattle area.

If you’re thinking this has a little in common with the coworking concept, you’re right: Regus is one of the largest international brands providing coworking space. The company has similar pod-style workspaces in its business centers, but by exporting them to the outside world, the company hopes to take things to the next level.

“This is going to be bigger than what we have today with office space,” Regus Vice President Sande Golgart told the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Would you use a private workspace like this when traveling? And could it translate to the world of tradeshows? Let us know your take.

(Regus rendering)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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