“People want to reap the benefits of personal productivity, to live and work how and where they want”
Q: 2021 is about to end soon - will you reach your personal and business objectives in 2021, and what are the main drivers?
Ramona Iacob: 2021 has been a challenging year, most likely for everyone in all perspectives. The significant outcome of 2021 is the shift produced on people’s minds and if we talk about business, how the future of work looks like, and new ways of working. Moreover, this year, I observed a better understanding of how flexibility can benefit employers and employees.
The new hybrid work model has also helped our business recover what we lost in terms of customers/revenues in 2020. Overall, I declare 2021 a year with outstanding results, but mainly a year that opened many opportunities for future business.
Q: How did the evolution of the pandemic affect the “workspace evolution” concept you launched a few years ago?
Ramona Iacob: Five years ago, I talked about “flex generation” and how the new employee generation will drag us for any changes in the working setup culture. The workspace revolution started many years ago. Unfortunately, the pandemic accelerated the evolution by forcing people in the first phase to try the “work from home environment,” which works in the short term but needs adjustments in a long time. Then, in the second phase, pandemic changed the mindsets, helping people understand that it is time to make the change with less risk, more flexibility, happier employees, and better efficiency. Everyone started to see how benefits can come from this, and today we all talk about the new hybrid model.
The hybrid model can be a combination of work from home combined with a flexible working place, or it can be a membership that allows you to work from everywhere. A big company can be a combination of a headquarter and a flexible solution provider that will enable employees to access workspaces closer to their homes. The idea is to have variety, choice, easy concepts, and a provider to assist in various work styles/needs.
Q: Most companies are preparing for a hybrid work environment these days. What is your advice for these companies, and how can Regus help them?
Ramona Iacob: The benefit of this solution extends beyond the employee experience and work-life balance. Companies can recruit and retain the best talent at a lower cost. At the same time, thanks to those who choose to work close to home, it also positively impacts the individual and collective carbon footprint.
Regus offers the possibility to work from a premium space, right from the heart of Bucharest or from the city’s key points. And to extend the access to the benefits of flexible work to a large number of companies and people in Romania, we will expand outside the capital in the next year by opening the first franchise space together with the Transinvest partner in a new city, Cluj-Napoca. The official opening of the new building in the Transylvanian region will be made at the beginning of next year.
The Regus building in Cluj-Napoca has an area of 1,500 m² and is divided into three floors. The space is located in the center of Cluj-Napoca and offers quick access to numerous facilities such as restaurants, cafes, or public transport. These include a business lounge, a co-working space, individual offices, meeting rooms, a terrace available for events, and an underground parking lot, easily accessible also by people with disabilities.
Q: More and more talented employees are leaving corporations to launch their start-ups. How can your company help them in their first steps and later in their evolution?
Ramona Iacob: People want to reap the benefits of personal productivity, to live and work how and where they want. Companies are targeting financial and strategic benefits. IWG’s clients are start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and multinational companies with unique business objectives, teams, and aspirations. They all want workspaces and communities that meet their needs. They want to have a choice.
Through IWG brands, we offer diversity and serve the entire world of work. We create personal, financial, and strategic value for businesses of all sizes, from some of the world’s largest companies and well-known organizations to individuals and the next generation of industry leaders. This harnesses the power of flexible work to increase its productivity, efficiency, agility, and proximity to the market.
Q: Digital Transformation proved to be a must for all companies in these last two years. How did you digitally transform your business processes?
Ramona Iacob: The majority of our business is now digital, and transformation continues, from myregus or myspaces app, that customers download and helps them efficiently manage their account (add services, remove services, handle invoicing, book other locations). Our sales channel has also been transformed. We can easily buy our products online, book day offices, meet rooms, and easily check other countries’ availability in terms of private offices or other facilities through our platforms. We can now conduct tours efficiently, and we are constantly improving, and over the years, we have moved our business massively in this direction: digital transformation
Q: Sustainability is a “hot” topic these days. What measures did you take to make your spaces “greener,” and why should your customers care?
Ramona Iacob: We apply sustainability in our business, so our customers can conduct business sustainably too. Many of our products are inherently sustainable, enabling customers to minimize their carbon emissions and environmental impact while achieving better work-life balance. As our network expands, we provide positive change to each location through our greener operations and inherently sustainable products. We aim to continually improve our performance by ensuring that any carbon emissions and other negative environmental impacts are reduced as much as possible.
Over 2017 and 2018, we reduced the global costs of gas and electricity per workstation by 24,9%. This reflects the continuing improvements in reducing energy consumption across our international estate and engaging our clients in our Greener Working Strategy. The cost of water usage per workstation decreased by 26,6% over the same period.
Q: How do you see the Romanian market evolution in 2022?
Ramona Iacob: From our business perspective, 2022 will be even more potent than 2021. We expect business to grow further, reach a high level or retention rate as we did in 2021, and improve all the programs that support our customers to have a great experience with us. We are constantly looking and having conversations on developing the existing network, especially outside Bucharest, which is an excellent focus nowadays, which is why we will expand in the coming years with ten new Regus buildings outside Bucharest.
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