A predicted boom in flexible working could contribute £148 billion to the UK economy by 2030, equating to 16 times the cost of the London 2012 Olympics, according to the first comprehensive socio-economic study of changing workplace practices.
The analysis, commissioned by Regus and conducted by independent economists, studied 16 key countries to delve into the state of flexible working now and predictions for 2030.
Regus also found that 11% of all employment today is associated with flexible workspaces in the UK, the highest proportion among the 16 countries studied. However, the study reveals that whilst the UK has been quick to adopt flexible work practices, its growth may be less than other markets by 2030 depending on the economic outcome of Brexit.
The report predicts an overall £366 billion boost to global GVA by 2030 as a result of flexible working, with the UK predicted to see GVA increase by 64%, which represents a healthy £148 billion addition to the UK economy. However, the report found that the markets set to enjoy the biggest hike in GVA were China and India, which are predicted to see increases of 193% and 141% respectively. In Europe the best performer will be the Netherlands which is expected to see growth of 102%.
The smaller growth in the UK may be explained by the drivers of flexible working use being driven by financial services, information and communications, and business services. These are all industries currently expressing uncertainty about the outcome of the UK’s exit from the EU.
The study found that greater levels of flexible working will save businesses money, with flexible workspace solutions being up to 75% cheaper than traditional fixed real-estate alternatives. Likewise, it can reduce operating costs and boost productivity – ultimately causing a ripple effect across the economy from core businesses through to supply chains.