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How Brexit will affect Britain’s economy

Steve Marsden, co-founder of Domain Office Search, on how Brexit will impact the world of work, and Britain’s economy.

 

The UK has narrowly avoided a recession by the skin of its teeth.

Many sectors have been affected, along with their terms of trade, but avoiding a recession does not necessarily mean we won’t be dipping into it after Brexit. We’ll see whether the UK could slip into a recession or actually grow out of it.

The transition period around Brexit is draining the general confidence. This level of uncertainty swerves up and down with what the politicians blurt out to try to secure popular opinion.

Certain rational and irrational fears are daily news. Huge queues at airports, no food in the supermarkets, massive economic hardship – these are all fears that people have. The transition period lasts for about three years if played by the EU rules.

In the meantime, it would be good for the UK to be resilient to challenges, open to opportunities and kind to our neighbours. We should also be relentless in moving the country forward in terms of digital, infrastructure, AI, Fintech and IoT, along with other traditional and growing sectors such as real estate.

 

Office space – severely affected?

According to Richard, Neil and Wei from CBRE in their research report ‘Brexit: a blessing in disguise for the UK’s Real Estate Market’, Brexit is good for investors, and worth the wait for plans.

Nowadays even growing SMEs are tapping into the flexible office space market. It is worth mentioning Checkout.com, the British unicorn, with the technical testing team in Mauritius but also in the UK and now expanding in the EU.

This shows that Brexit caters for regional expansion. The UK will be a country that international businesses have the conquer if they want to bring business in. We will need to understand people and their needs accurately - no longer are we painting all users in the EU with the same brush.

According to Pearl & Coutts, the good news is that “These are likely to be very much short-term repercussions, a post-Brexit fallout that will settle down in time. In short, while the UK begins the long, slow process of extracting itself from the EU, there’s going to be an amount of uncertainty for some time to come. But there’s no reason to think the damage will be lasting – or even last very long.”  

 

work

 

How does Work 2.0 fit into this?

The 21st Century is allowing for certain workspace configurations that allow us to work smart and play smart, rather than the old saying work hard play hard.

In Japan, for example, a four-day working week has been both more productive and more eco-friendly as less electricity was consumed. With Brexit happening and all its attendant challenges, the workspace of the future is changing.

Connecting with other colleagues, doing business, following up with important business milestones or even running a company, now has workspace consequences. We are no longer working in a fixed place, tied to a desk – our personal life and work life are embedded.

There are narrow fine lines at times when both blur, with people on Sunday mornings catching up with emails, but also finishing their day doing personal stuff. With Brexit, property developers, flexible office space providers and also the features involved in a workspace, will evolve with the needs of the people – the need to feel independent, to feel connected, to feel safe, to feel united, and to feel appreciated. British values triumph over any other values when Brexit is concerned, but many try to twist that ideology about what being British means.

Let’s not threaten doom to the naysayers of Brexit but welcome them onto a path that Brexit brings. Instead of putting more obstacles in the way, let’s find solutions for a better and a more open Britain, in its quest to claim back control of its economic and social destiny.