The serviced office group Regus has struck a deal with the oil giant Shell that could see its business lounges opened on petrol forecourts across Europe.
Targeting business people on the road, the first outlet has opened at a Shell station near Paris. It means that workers can take advantage of fast internet access, copy documents or arrange courier deliveries at the same time as filling up on fuel.
Regus already has 1,200 offices in 550 cities, but this agreement helps to expand its reach across the transport network. Its business stations are being used by entrepreneurs as a base to start up new ventures, as well as larger firms that have switched some of their staff to mobile working to save money.
"This alliance allows Shell and Regus as market leaders in their respective fields to come together to better serve our customers," said Istvan Kapitany, Shell's vice-president of retail in Europe.
Mark Dixon, founder and chief executive of Regus, believes the move will cater for workers on the move who still need a place to draw breath. "Though they communicate and work using smartphones, tablets and laptops, they miss access to a professional place to work, meet or think where there is easy access to state-of-the-art business facilities," he said. "By opening Regus business lounges at motorway stations, Shell and Regus are bringing vibrant business hubs right to the roadside."