New research from BCA Member Citibase reveals rising appetite for flexible, short-term office space as more small business owners seek greater agility in their workplace contracts.
The latest Citibase Confidence Index for Q3 2017 surveyed over 1,100 SMEs across the UK, polling respondents on various factors related to business confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Key highlights reveal that 21% of SMEs believe Brexit is having a negative impact on revenue, a common theme over the past two quarterly surveys. Furthermore 83% have seen a fall, or no increase, in their business confidence.
As a result, Citibase claims that SMEs are taking a “flight to flexibility” when running their businesses. The appetite for flexible office space is reflected in Citibase’s annual results, delivering its best year of business in its 24-year history, with a 23% rise in year on year earnings (EBITDA).
According to Citibase CEO Steve Jude, the current political and economic climate is leading to greater demand for cost-effectiveness and agility among the UK business community.
He said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy and it is essential to rebuild their confidence in the future for UK business. We have entered a new era where a nimble approach is vital for SMEs who want to succeed. Our exclusive survey shows how turmoil has given rise to a flight to flexibility by business owners.”
SMEs are a vital part of the UK economy, with 5.5 million in total nationwide*. The Citibase Business Confidence Index reflects the views of small businesses across a wide variety of sectors, including finance, marketing, legal and IT, gauging real opinions on the impact of political events on important factors such as revenue, morale, and expectations for the future.
Jude added: “Serviced offices provide a simple solution for start-ups based at home looking to take their next steps into the world of business. By providing an office environment without the risk of a long-term contract, we offer SMEs the opportunity to grow on terms that suit them, allowing them to focus on what really matters – running and expanding their business.”
“Thousands of small companies, the engine room of a healthy economy, are thriving in flexible office space.
"The age of the long lease is over for the majority of businesses – and that includes larger corporates too. The average lease length is now 4.5 years, down from 21 years in 1991 (Source: IPD) – the world of work has truly changed! The government now needs to ensure that they take a similar agile approach to the future of the UK, allowing SMEs to thrive."*FSB, UK Small Business Statistics