By Marcus Leach

Convenient and flexible office space at stations was signalled today (Monday) as Network Rail agreed a joint venture with The Office Group, the Lloyd Dorfman-backed office space provider, to install drop-in work space at its major stations.

Network Rail and The Office Group will work together to create a network of flexible office space at stations nationwide, initially at five London locations. The first will open at Paddington, situated within MacMillan House, accessed via Platform 1. It will accommodate up to 250 people in a range of flexible office sizes.

The deal has been struck as part of Network Rail’s vision to enhance the passenger experience by creating stations that are destinations in their own right. It will tap into the growing mobile working trend as well as providing a convenient alternative working environment. As part of the offer, clients at the rail hub offices will be able to take advantage of The Office Group’s other properties. These are all design-led work spaces, giving clients a network of satellite offices to work out of.

The new rail hub offices also feature The Club — a great value office space membership scheme, from The Office Group, aimed specifically at entrepreneurs and mobile workers. Designed to offer a shared or private working area similar to airport business lounges, the space will feature stylish meeting rooms, superfast broadband and receptionists to deal with mail, telephone and switchboard enquiries.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our stations and unlock the commercial revenue they retain," David Biggs, Network Rail’s director of property, said.

"The network of drop-in office space created through this innovative joint venture will provide a new and convenient service at stations. Passengers are already able to eat, drink and shop at our stations, so it was only logical that we offered them the opportunity to work here too.”

All profits from Network Rail’s commercial activity are re-invested in the railway, limiting the cost to tax payers and passengers.

“Every year the trend for mobile working is increasing. To meet this demand, we have teamed up with an organisation that sees a huge throughput of mobile workers across its rail terminals. With excellent transport links, the offices will also be the perfect venue for larger corporations who may be experiencing an overflow of staff and need space to accommodate key employees," Charlie Green, Co CEO of The Office Group, said.

“Opening in mid-2012, this deal has been made with one eye on the busier public transport networks we may see during next year’s 2012 Games. This rail hub office will give employers in Games travel hotspots a place to base their employees during busy periods next summer.”

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