Why not work from the local supermarket? IWG, owner of co-working companies Regus and Spaces, is in talks with food retailers to set up flexible workplaces. In the UK, a deal with Tesco has already been finalised. Belgium will follow.
First agreement with Tesco
Many hypermarkets and supermarkets have too much square footage and are therefore looking to fill this surplus. The owner of Regus, IWG, is stepping into the breach and wants to create co-working spaces in supermarkets. Especially since the covid pandemic, there is a strong demand for hybrid working, where people can work close to home and still have some peace and quiet in an office.
In the UK, IWG has struck a deal with supermarket giant Tesco. In a Tesco supermarket in New Malden, near London, the company is installing 12 private offices, 30 co-working spaces and a conference room over an area of 353 square metres. If this first test proves successful, a wider roll-out will follow.
Belgian supermarkets to follow
“People don’t want to spend hours commuting every day and instead want to live and work in their local communities. A Tesco Extra in a suburban location, in the middle of a vibrant local community, is the perfect location for flexible office space,” Mark Dixon, managing director of IWG, told The Guardian.
The potential for flexible office space in the suburbs and countryside is still significant, according to Dixon, also in Belgium. IWG is in talks with several Belgian supermarket chains to open flexible office spaces in their shops, Kanaal Z reports. However, the company does not yet want to say which chains are involved. Today there are 50 Regus or Spaces centres, but in the next few years another 200 are to be opened, mainly outside city centres.