For many employers and employees, flexible working is now the norm. A Global Workspace Survey conducted by leading flexible workspace provider, IWG, shows that half (50%) of those surveyed mention that they work outside their company’s main location for at least half the working week or more.
Kory Thompson, country head—Middle East at IWG said: “As the UAE looks to a new decade of growth and development, spurred by events like Expo 2020, flexible working will prove to be invaluable. It will provide new businesses with the opportunity to easily increase productivity and attract top talent. In fact, IWG’s research shows that over a third of businesses are looking to expand internationally, with 55% of businesses surveyed saying they are looking to be more agile. Given this, 2020 looks to be a very promising year for the flexible workspace industry in the UAE”.
Below are the top trends that Regus foresees in the year ahead:
- Increase in number of employees working remotely: According to a recent study by IWG, 62% of businesses worldwide currently have a flexible workspace policy. Flexible workspaces enable businesses to operate anywhere, without the need for set-up costs or capital investment, and support the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- More millennials to join the workforce: Estimates by BPG Max, a leading media buying agency in the region, reveal that the UAE has a growing Gen Z population of 1.4 million, which is joining the workforce, and want a better work/life balance. Flexible workspaces could become viable alternatives for businesses that are targeting millennials and freelance workers in 2020.
- Shift to productivity-boosting technology: Mobile workers across UAE are using online tools to help them work remotely more efficiently. Regus research shows that tools which enable remote working, such as remote access to desktops or easy document sharing, are gaining popularity. Flexible workspaces work well as they offer fully serviced offices with high-speed internet to cater to everyone’s digital demands.
- Better designed flexible work spaces: In the UAE, employers are experimenting with open and collaborative work environments to boost employee wellbeing and health. Office environments are being designed to create brighter functional spaces, incorporating recreation spaces. Companies will pay more attention to office design to keep employees more motivated, engaged and happy in the future.
- Evolution of commercial property: The commercial property world appears to be on the verge of structural change, with mobile workers making a significant proportion of traditional fixed office space obsolete and inefficient. More agile options are now available, from co-working spaces to temporary office locations and business lounge membership for employees.
- Global expansion of the UAE through Expo 2020: Expo 2020 is expected to accelerate development and boost foreign direct investment in the UAE and flexible workspaces could well support the country’s vibrant business environment. Flexible office spaces will compliment Dubai’s flourishing ecosystem and give businesses the option to grow with little commitment and minimal risk in 2020.