‘Work from home’ gaining popularity

SEVENTY-FIVE per cent of business owners in Bahrain plan to increase investment in technology to support remote working as the way forward, a survey has revealed.

CBRE, a global real estate consulting firm, conducted a survey from June 15 until June 30, covering more than 250 office occupiers in the country.

Findings of the Bahrain Office Occupier Flash Survey aimed to gauge the industry’s response to Covid-19, and resulted in key findings related to business continuity, decrease in revenues and relief measures offered by landlords.

“Increased investment in technology to support remote working was a consideration for 75pc of respondents,” stated the survey.

“Also, 78pc intended to increase their adoption of flexible working after the outbreak ends.”

Furthermore, 54pc of business owners said they will review their strategy to ensure social distancing protocols are adhered to in the workplace, while 45pc expected no change in the use of co-working space in the office environment.

The report highlighted that government measures to reduce travelling and close non-essential businesses prompted many companies to encourage or notify employees to work from home with 78pc of respondents adopting this response.

“Flexible working hours and staff rotation are other measures that have been introduced,” stated the survey.

Many respondents (42pc) were of the opinion that business environment in the second half of 2020 will continue to worsen, while 58pc said it will stay the same or even improve.

“A total of 61pc of survey respondents expect their business revenue to contract in 2020.

“An anticipated decline of between 10pc to 30pc is expected by the majority group according to current projections.”

However, almost 20pc of respondents believe that there is the potential for positive growth in revenue year-on-year.

Survey results further showed that 33pc of respondents have experienced disruption to leasing decisions since the outbreak and it is expected that the impact of delays to real estate leasing decisions will continue to be felt for the remainder of 2020.

“A total of 59pc of respondents have held discussions with their landlords about relief measures on their lease terms including requesting rental reductions, rental holidays, longer rent-free periods and fit-out subsidies – which is a trend expected to have been replicated across other commercial real estate sectors in Bahrain,” according to the survey.

Almost 53pc of respondents said they have been offered relief measures by landlords in Bahrain.

Of those, 25pc said they were satisfied with the measures and almost 28pc were expecting landlords to be more accommodating.

CBRE Bahrain’s Research and Consultancy director, James Lynn asserted that there will be an increased focus on technology and flexibility in business moving forward, with traditional workplace evolving.

“Landlords and tenants are being compelled to adjust to the changing needs of the workforce,” Mr Lynn said.

“Commercial office sector in Bahrain is well placed to provide solutions, as the trend towards flexibility was already developing in this market.

“As the needs of occupiers continue to change in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, further adaptation by landlords to accommodate these changes will be key to maintaining asset performance.”

 

Source: www.gdnonline.com/Details/838101/‘Work-from-home’-gaining-popularity

 

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