Major railway stations are good places to rendezvous. With their smart bars, cafés and lounges a rail location adds a sense of urgency and purpose to the briefest of meetings.
To capitalise on this the rail industry is opening drop-in work centres at three more major stations. The pilot scheme at Paddington Station has proved a great success. Office Network, the joint venture between Network Rail and the Office Group, plans a further three hubs at London King’s Cross, London Liverpool Street and Leeds.
The centres include offices, meeting rooms and work spaces, known as ClubRooms. Says David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property, ‘This innovative joint venture brings an additional facility to our busy stations by transforming underused space into productive work environments that meet the needs of time scarce business travellers.
Stations are convenient destinations for shopping, dining and leisure and the success of our first site at Paddington has proved that they are equally as sought after for business. As we prepare for another decade of dramatic growth on the railway, the serviced office product will continue to be a key element of how we improve our stations and enhance the passenger experience.’
Lloyd Dorfman, the successful entrepreneur who created the Travelex foreign exchange operation is chairman of the Office Group. ‘As demand for flexible and remote working grows throughout the UK, these new facilities will support our exciting growth plans in meeting passenger needs,’ says Dorfman.
New sites being developed at King’s Cross, Leeds and Liverpool Street stations will provide an additional 50,000 square feet of high quality work space. The Station Office Network provides commuters with shared or private working areas similar to airport business lounges, with stylish meeting rooms, superfast broadband and cheerful receptionists to handle mail, telephone calls and enquiries. Already plans are afoot to expand the Station Office Network to other major railway stations.