Feeds

O2 tries to one-up the Apple store with SMB lounge

Facemail hookup hangout for those who don't have offices

Security for virtualized datacentres

The O2 Workshop is a small-business drop-in centre, carved out of the company's Tottenham Court Road store, which hopes to provide an Apple-store environment only for suits.

Just as Apple stores have become the place for trendy consumers to be seen hanging out, so O2 is providing somewhere for small companies who have given up the expense of a central London office but are tired of trying to balance three laptops on a Starbucks table when the team does have to meet.

Inside of O2's new space

That space comes in the O2 Workshop, within the franchised O2 store at 229 Tottenham Court road, where home workers can gather in semi-private meeting rooms, congregate in the private conference room or amass in the seminar room with three, nine and 29 colleagues respectively.

They can also relax in the lounge where they will be provided with free drinks and "tablet devices for browsing". We're guessing those won't be iPads. There's also free Wi-Fi throughout, in the usual way, and O2 "Gurus" on hand in case anyone fancies buying something while in the store.

Start-Up Britain and Enterprise Nation are signed up to help run weekly seminars for small businesses too, in case one's colleagues are insufficiently edifying.

The idea isn't a bad one. Companies based around home workers need somewhere to get together, and coffee shops aren't well-equipped. Many years ago motorway services suddenly sprouted offices-by-the-hour, for the same reason, though they didn't last.

It's certainly better than just trying to copy what Apple does, when Apple does it so well, and hopefully O2 won’t get anyone trying to order pizza, have a date or bring a goat into the building, though if things go well they might get an IPO or two. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.