UAE businesses opt for flexible workplaces
UAE business leaders and risk managers are adopting flexible real estate strategies to grow their company and mitigate against risk, according to a new study by International Workplace Group (IWG), the parent group of workspace companies including Regus.
The UAE study, which was part of a comprehensive global study based on the insights of over 18,000 business people across 96 companies, found that 91 per cent believe flexible working helps them to grow their business and maximise profits, while 84 per cent of UAE business leaders recognise that flexible working helps to mitigate against risk including financial and strategic risks. The study also found that 84 per cent believe flexible working enable them to manage volatile markets, while 87 per cent believe it help them to optimise costs.
"Business leaders are starting to recognise the strategic and financial benefits that workplace revolution brings to them. Risk managers are paying close attention to their property portfolios and are now realising that the new weapon in their arsenals - real estate," said Vassilis Bazinis, Country Manager UAE, Regus.
"Companies can save significant costs on real estate that they outsource, sometimes as much as 50 per cent or more. Reducing long leases, capital expenditure and overall costs provides a financial boost that helps financial risk."
A flexible workplace strategy negates another important risk which is strategic risk. Flexible working is not simply about personal employee productivity, it is also about ensuring that businesses of all sizes have the agility to seize an opportunity in new territories. It allows businesses to expand in a smart and safe way without getting tied down in long-leases or overheads. The survey results showed that 93 per cent of UAE businesses believe that flexible working allows businesses to create a presence in new markets.
Startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UAE have welcomed the decision of many businesses to open their floors to outside businesses, as it allows them access to prime locations that they might not normally have access to. The decision is also important in light of the fact that an increasing number of workers are opting to work from outside of their offices. According to a recent study by IWG, 60 per cent of the UAE workforce skip the office to work elsewhere and over 50 per cent do so for at least half of the week, heralding a major reassessment of corporate real estate.
Flexible working not only reduces commuting time, but enhances productivity, staff retention, job satisfaction and even creativity. This is in addition to the financial and strategic advantages that it brings for businesses.
"Flexible workspace strategy gives risk managers peace of mind that they have a plan in place for market volatility or any unforeseen events. It offers them greater strategic agility," added Bazinis.
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