Serviced offices make an awful lot of sense for some companies. I’ve spent many years working in them, for example at The Royal (with ballroom!) and the Norwich Bio-Incubator (with swimming pool!) Flexibility of lease, all-inclusive pricing, mixing with other startups … it’s all good.
Except if the serviced office you’re in is awful.
Since being in the awful Regus serviced office building in Hammersmith I’ve experienced:
- a fridge that hasn’t closed properly for a year
- phones that don’t work for 3 business days straight
- toilet facilities that are rarely clean, including urinals with buckets beneath them for weeks on end (difficult to get plumbers in London, aparently)
- air conditioning that frequently breaks down (but only on the hot days)
- a dishwasher that was out of order for more than 6 weeks
- lifts out of order for several months at a time
I don’t actually mind any of that. It’s not like providing office space and infrastructure is Regus’ core business, is it?
What I do mind is the grim state of the showers here, which actively discourages cycling. Now that I’m a cyclist I get to be militant about such things, since cycling is clearly better for the environment and society in general. So it really bugs me that there’s no decent facilities to clean up after the frequently sweaty cycle to the office in the mornings.
How grim is it? Well, we’re talking missing tiles, leaking doors, broken temperature control, broken fan, disgusting shower head, low water pressure, and the shower room itself is frequently locked necessitating a 10 minute hunt for a security guard that can be bothered to unlock it. It’s difficult to imagine how it could be any worse, frankly. The full horror is documented in the flickr photos.
This is a quite blatant whine, but it’s done in the hopes anyone considering Regus serviced offices have the full facts before them. I’d hate to see them misled by the incorrect advertising on the Regus website. Lest you think I’m being unfair, it’s now three months since I reported the shower issues to the Regus staff here. But, as you can tell by the track record of the fridge, dishwasher, and the lifts, I don’t expect anything to be fixed for a good few months yet.
Update 10th August: wow, that was quick. I’ve just been told the shower has been ripped out, and will be out of action until 27th August while it’s being refurbished. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a cyclist-friendly refurb.