The Bottom Line
- Convenient locations in major office buildings
- Amenities like free coffee, copiers, phone
- Helpful receptionists
- Mediocre Internet speed and limited wired connections
- Small room and limited working space
- 1,100 business centers in 500 cities across 85 countries worldwide
- Gold membership, from $15/month: unlimited walk-in access to business lounges and cafes with free internet and refreshments
- Higher membership plans give you a virtual office plus Gold memberhsip benefits
Guide Review - Regus businessworld - Business Lounges and Remote Offices
February 18, 2010 - I'm writing this in one of Regus businessworld's professional lounges in New York. The room is pretty small, with only 4 club chairs, one mobile desk, and one cable for wired Internet, but it's still more space and more of a professional environment for working than a crowded coffeeshop or bookstore. Though I'm the only one in the lounge now, Regus also rents out other spaces in this large office building, so I see suited people walking about in the halls and even hear a muffled meeting going on in the room next door. For some, the background noise and motion might be irritating, but being amongst other people while working on your own is the main reason to use a business lounge instead of your home office -- you're not as isolated and it's a good change of scenery that could make you more productive.
Access to business lounges like this are also most convenient for frequent travelers. Regus has over 1,000 business lounges in 450 cities in 75 countries around the world, including some airport lounges. Gold membership, starting at $15 per month (or free as part of a partnership offer with TripIt Pro) gives you unlimited walk-in access to these areas, with complimentary Internet and refreshments (coffee and tea).
I'm really appreciating the great coffee now, but have been having trouble with the Internet access. The wi-fi just isn't working for me (despite wireless troubleshooting on both my part and the receptionist's), so I'm using a wired connection instead. That's fine, except that the Internet speed, as tested at Speedtest.net, is only 1 Mb/s (down) -- slower than my 3G speed on T-Mobile. Since there's only one wired cable for Internet access, this situation could also get sticky if more people came to use the lounge.
Despite the wi-fi issues, visiting the Regus business lounge was a nice change of pace -- an office away from my home office where I can feel more businesslike. If you travel frequently and need reliable places to work that are more private and secure than public hotspots, you would likely find more value in the Gold membership, but keep in mind that different businessworld locations may vary in terms of working environment.