As 2023 began, three years had passed since the challenging lockdowns of 2020 that
affected businesses in the UK and around the world. The months of closures and
disruption and uncertainty changed the business landscape and many things may never
go back to the way they were before. So how has the business landscape changed
The changes to businesses post-pandemic
In early 2023, the threat of recession in the UK is rarely out of the news cycle, and
whether or not the UK falls into recession remains to be seen. There are dramatic
changes to the way businesses operate, and data gathered in a study carried out in
2021 predicted businesses using office space to fall in terms of square footage by 9%.
Why? Because more people are choosing to continue to work from home, potentially
missing out on the possibilities of community and creativity that working in an office with
your colleagues can bring.
Sadly, if only that was the whole picture. More recent data shows a more pessimistic
angle: real estate broker Lambert Smith Hampton said in 2022 that as much as 20% of
office space in the southeast of England could become redundant.
But what does all of this mean in real terms? It means businesses are losing space and
those who aren’t are still out of pocket paying to heat and light office spaces with
increasingly fewer people working in them. Here are some more stats we found quite
Staff back in the office four days per week: 15% (down from 90%
Businesses planning to increase their office space: 8%
Businesses thinking of reducing their office space: 72%
(Data from a survey conducted by Lambert Smith Hampton in businesses in south east
England, excluding central London).
It’s not just staff preferring to work from home or to skip the commute as there have also
been significant changes to recruitment and job retention in business post-pandemic.
The challenges of people management post-pandemic
According to a YouGov poll of 1,000 adults in full-time work, 62% say that they were
less likely to look for a new job in 2023. This hesitancy to move jobs is creating great
uncertainty in businesses as key talent isn’t flowing between businesses. Out of the
1,000 people, 39% said they wanted job flexibility as a key priority, and 35% said they
wanted to work somewhere they felt they “fitted in” to the organisational culture. Both
are completely understandable statements and ones that we agree with too.
But sadly, since the pandemic more than 3 million people over 50 and below retirement
age have left the workforce and taken early retirement, leaving businesses with a huge
skills gap and lack of staff.
These significant changes to the way people work, stay in jobs, or even retire early will
continue to cause problems for businesses into 2023 and beyond.
But it’s not all bad news.
How BPO solves those challenges
Businesses thinking about reducing their office space could think outside the box — as
well as outside the country — and consider business process outsourcing as a solution
to their office space issues. If your customer care function is taking up valuable floor
space that could be better used, then why not outsource and claim back that key square
footage for another use? Maybe your IT desks are taking up an entire floor.
The Philippines, our BPO base of operations, holds 70% of the world’s BPO sector. It’s
estimated that more than 1.3 million people in the Philippines are employed in the BPO
sector. It’s a growing industry, at between 8–10% growth each year, and it’s a country
switched on to the importance of digital skills and flexible working.
Data found that businesses are expected to invest more highly in IT and software in the
coming years post-pandemic. Why not be one of them and choose BPO services to
boost your business?