Office Space Revolution on the way in South Africa?
According to research carried out by the worldΓÇÖs largest supplier of serviced office space, a revolutionary new approach to commercial property costs is only months away in South Africa ΓÇô with the recent recession acting as a watershed rather than a temporary glitch in the way businesses will approach the role of office space in their day-to-day business.
Fronted by Joanne Bushell in a press release on the company website, the Johannesburg-based Regus vice-president for the Middle East and Africa explained:
ΓÇ£Meeting rooms sit empty; so do vast numbers of desks, with staff working elsewhere, travelling, or on leave. The only function being performed by that space is soaking up precious capital: not just in the rent, but in utilities, maintenance and cleaning costs. How can a business talk about being leaner and fitter when it carries under-used office space?ΓÇ¥
Based the companyΓÇÖs research, Bushell says for most organizations property expenses are the second largest fixed cost of doing business. Yet on a given day, up to 50% of that space sits empty or unused. The solution?: Moving away from traditional fixed space to flexible to on-demand space that, according to serviced office space provider, can cut property costs by up to 60%.
As a company at the centre of the serviced offices market, we here at officebroker.com are all too aware that using flexible, on-demand space ΓÇô where someone else has to find, equip, maintain and staff the office ΓÇô can allow businesses to focus on core activities and inject a level of flexibilty to their activity which traditional conventional leases simply do not offer.
The press release also cites the major advancements in technology that have allowed millions of people to no longer need to be based in a permanent office. Suggesting that one day they may work at home; while taking advantage of serviced office space on another – dropping into a ready-to-use office with high-quality telecommunications systems and band-width, videoconferencing facilities and the use of meeting rooms if they need them.
Bushell points out: ΓÇ£The survey is a good barometer of global business concerns, plans and objectivesΓÇ¥
ΓÇ£One of the most revealing findings of the 2009 survey relates to attitudes towards property: 59% of survey respondents believe a substantial proportion of large companies aim to reduce their reliance on office property and switch to virtual working over the next three years; and 64% of respondents think smaller companies will do the same thing.ΓÇ¥
ΓÇ£This represents a true workplace revolution ΓÇô and it will affect South Africa, just like other economies in which recession has given added impetus to the search for leaner more flexible solutions.ΓÇ¥