Thursday 23rd June 2016 went down in history as the day when Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Since then, the business world has been abuzz with speculation. What does the future hold for UK businesses? What happens to European trade? Will 'Brexit' pull the plug on inward investment? Can we expect the British economy to fall into recession? And on it goes.
Let's put the record straight.
'Brexit' hasn't even happened yet, much less any conclusive decisions about how Britain will extricate itself from EU policies. While such actions are largely out of our hands, what business owners can do now is ensure their operational structure is agile enough to adapt to our changing business landscape - and that starts with a flexible workplace agreement.
Simeon Howard, Managing Director at Your City Office, is one of many business owners ready to embrace the inevitable changes that lie ahead.
"Everyone wants to know how things will pan out over the next few months, but I think that the fundamentals remain the same. London is still one of the best cities in the world, not just to live in but also from which to operate a business.
"We have to remember that the global concept of working environments is changing, and with the assistance of technology, more and more businesses are choosing flexible and community based spaces from which to operate. I can already see the smart money taking advantage of the opportunities made available by this Referendum result."
Indeed, the Referendum result and future 'Brexit' is a pivotal moment for British businesses. But business owners already face critical decisions, market fluctuation and change on a daily basis. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how flexible workspace can help business owners transition during times of change, and combat any lingering uncertainties over 'Brexit':
- Flexibility to scale: Every company is susceptible to market fluctuation. Under a serviced office, a coworking space or any workspace with flexible terms, business owners have the agility to upscale their space alongside business growth quickly and easily. Likewise, those flexible terms can keep your enterprise in the black should market changes force your business to downsize.
- Access to world-leading workspaces: Your workspace is a reflection of your business, and a smart serviced office in a city landmark will exude professionalism and set the right first impressions. While a serviced office puts your business there physically, a virtual office is an alternative solution for smaller firms with limited budgets. If your business doesn't yet need a full-time office, a virtual agreement gives you the benefit of an office address and a mailing point, without the cost or commitment of full-time office usage.
- On-demand services: Whether you choose a serviced office, a mid-term managed office or a temporary virtual office solution, your business has instant access to fully equipped workspaces and meeting venues. That gives you the flexibility to work from anywhere and gain instant access to professional, world-leading business environments at the drop of a hat.
- Full-time support: Flexible serviced offices present a wealth of benefits to small businesses, perhaps none more valuable than the presence of full-time management staff. It's their job to keep the building in tip-top condition, but also to offer support for your business. Most serviced offices provide receptionist staff to answer calls, meet and greet visitors, prepare meeting rooms, and provide administrative services, too. That means your business can tap into full-time personalised support, anytime you need it, without the commitment of hiring a permanent member of staff.
- Choice of workspace: The flexible workspace industry has grown phenomenally since its inception in the 1980s. Research by Deloitte shows that the serviced office market in London has expanded by 67% over the past decade, whilst Office Space in Town reports that the UK market is currently worth £16bn. The outcome? A vast (and continually growing) choice of flexible workspace locations, from business parks and fringe locations to design-led city centre offices.
Brexit or not, after 30 years of growth, the London office space market certainly isn't going to disappear overnight. Rather, it is perfectly placed to provide support to entrepreneurs in the wake of the EU Referendum and during any other time of change. Flexibility is key to business evolution, and smart business owners are already taking steps to ensure their workspace agreement is as agile as their business operations.