Business confidence rises in the Middle East, shows Regus’ latest survey
A fall in business confidence in fast-growing economies and the bounce back of countries in the Middle East has reduced the gap with mature markets. Meanwhile, efficiency becomes the key driver to remaining competitive without compromising on growth, finds latest Regus survey. Research reveals that globally firms will prioritize cost-cutting measures, from talent retention to flexible workspace, to gain maximum advantage from existing assets and expand fast and flexibly.
The latest Regus Business Confidence Index (BCI) survey of more than 20,000 senior executives across 95 countries found that while confidence levels have risen by five points to 109 in mature economies, there has been as drop of nine points to 117 in emerging countries. In the Middle East, business confidence has risen from 121 points in April 2013 to 124, above the global average of 113 points.
The report also indicated that businesses in the Middle East will focus on staff retention and cost-effective service provisions over the next twelve months to optimise business processes and gain maximum advantage from existing assets without compromising on expansion plans.
Commenting on the research, Garry Gürtler, Regus Vice President for the Middle East, says: “While mature economies are showing confidence gains as their economic outlook turns positive, the emerging world is slowing the pace of growth as businesses aim to become increasingly efficient to promote productivity. Our research also shows that utilising flexible workspaces can have a significant impact on the bottom line, encouraging sustainable growth.”
Other BCI key findings include:
- Companies reporting revenue and profit growth in the Middle East have increased from 54% to 55% and from 45% to 62%
- The top four efficiency outcomes for the Middle East are:
- Improved staff retention (54%)
- Cost effective services providers (41%)
- Reduced hiring costs (36%)
- More freelance staff and contractors (35%)
- 34% of businesses also plan to reduce fixed office space.
The world’s leading CRM platform salesforce.com, relies on Regus business centres in half of its 26 locations worldwide. The company has seen phenomenal growth since it was founded in 1999 in San Francisco and has been ranked the World’s Most Innovative Company by Forbes Magazine for the Third Year in a Row. Larry Wolfert, Senior Director, global real estate, said: “Working with a single point of contact at Regus for our global workspace needs makes our global expansion manageable and efficient. We have also saved a lot of money avoiding the upfront capital expenditure associated with fitting out traditional office space.”
Bader Nabeel Kamal, a long-term Regus client based in the Middle East, says: “I believe mobility will be the best cost-saving driver in business operations. Expanding the number of offices whenever you need it, having offices around the world ready to use with all the office set-up taken care of, is really all we need. Companies will be able to focus more on their core business, their productivity, and reach their goals without worrying about office expansion, set-up or office management.”
“The way we run business is changing. Many companies are starting to adapt to the concept of flexible working and I’m certain this trend will continue.”