Office space a 'barrier to growth' for 83% of SMEs in the UK
Office space a 'barrier to growth' for 83% of SMEs in the UK

Office space a ‘barrier to growth’ for 83% of SMEs in the UK

New research has revealed 83% of SMEs in the UK are looking for funding to move into bigger office space.

The findings suggest that access to new work environments are acting as a key barrier to business growth.

Business leaders from SMEs throughout Europe were canvassed as part of this research, highlighting the difference between organisations of different sizes.

Findings show that almost half of those businesses that are start-ups work flexibly, therefore don’t need any additional office space; for larger SMEs though, this number is 8%, which shows that the smaller organisations don’t need larger office space. Instead, they are benefiting from remote working options – staff are happy with this option, and it means a greater profit too.

But UK businesses in general are keen to expand; 76% have revealed they are looking to hire new staff at this present time.

There is a barrier to this for 37% of firms though, who reported a lack of funds, and that this is preventing them from hiring new recruits.

The barriers not only include being unable to afford larger office space, but also paying for recruitment costs.

A suitable office space is vital for many companies. As we have seen, many see the advantages of remote space, but 67% of SMEs believe a positive working environment is the most important factor when trying to create a good business culture – and suitable office space is a key cog in this, supporting an increase in staff in the process.

Andrew Johnson, Financial Director at PowWowNow, who commissioned the research, said UK businesses can learn from their European counterparts.

He said: “Office rent is currently one of the biggest overheads for SMEs after salaries, and with commercial rent costs rising rapidly, SMEs must consider empowering staff to take advantage of tech and work flexibly.

“Not only does this improve employee wellbeing and work-life balance, but it also helps cut business costs and promote productivity.

“Europe is clearly ahead of us in relieving office space pressures by offering remote working and we can learn from that.”

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