Despite strong confidence, Aussie businesses are striving for efficiency

Australia, 16 October 2013 – Research from Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace, shows that as emerging economies falter, Australian business confidence has jumped in the last six months, but with the economic outlook still uncertain, companies of all sizes are still looking for ways to better maximise their efficiency.

The findings reveal that, globally firms will prioritize cost-cutting measures, from talent retention to flexible workspace, to gain maximum advantage from existing assets and expand fast and flexibly.

The latest Regus Business Confidence Index (BCI), surveying more than 20,000 senior executives across 95 countries, found that in Australia, business confidence has risen sharply from 105 points in April 2013 to 111, just below the global average of 113 points. While confidence levels have risen by five points to 109 in mature economies such as the US, the UK and Western Europe, there has been a drop of nine points to 117 in emerging countries including China, India, Brazil and South East Asia.

Source: Regus

Large businesses in Australia have remained more confident than the global average since April 2013, falling just one point to 117, while SMEs have jumped in confidence – small business confidence has increased from 98 points to 109 points.

The data shows that half of large businesses (250+ employees) said that staff retention is most vital for them to be efficient (49%), while for small companies (less than 50 employees), service costs are the biggest hurdle to continued growth (64%).


Top 5 efficiencies that small businesses will be prioritising over the next 12 months

1. Cheaper services providers (i.e. Telephone, internet, IT)


2. Higher ROI (Return on Investment) on advertising/marketing


3. Cheaper advertising/marketing


4. Less fixed office workspace


5. Improved staff retention


Top 5 efficiencies that large businesses will be prioritising over the next 12 months

1. Improved staff retention


2. Higher ROI (Return on Investment) on advertising/marketing


3. Cheaper services providers (i.e. Telephone, internet, IT)


4. Reduced hiring costs


5. Less business travel


Source: Regus

Commenting on the research, Director of Regus Asia-Pacific, John Henderson, said: “Though larger firms are still more confident than small, it’s great to see the growing confidence amongst small businesses here in Australia – with smaller firms making up a large portion of the business population and contributing vastly to Australia’s economy.

“This research shows that companies of all sizes are aiming to become increasingly efficient to promote productivity – and that operational and people costs are top of mind, alongside the cost of marketing.”

Other Regus BCI findings for Australia:


  • Companies reporting revenue and profit growth for the past 12 months in Australia have increased from 40% to 42% and from 29% to 34% explaining the increase in confidence
  • The top three efficiency outcomes for Australia overall are:
    • Cost effective services providers (58%)
    • Higher return on investment on marketing and advertising (49%)
    • Improved staff retention (34%)
  • 27% of businesses also plan to reduce fixed office space.


Mr Henderson added: “While the emerging world is slowing the pace of growth, the outlook for mature economies is turning positive and they are gaining confidence. For Australian businesses looking to grow at home or abroad, achieving efficiency is vital. Our research also shows that implementing flexible working options can have a positive impact on the bottom line, and this is particularly true for companies looking to avoid upfront capital expenditure.”

The world’s leading CRM platform, relies on Regus business centres in half of its 26 locations worldwide. The company has seen phenomenal growth since it was founded in 1999 in San Francisco and has been ranked the World’s Most Innovative Company by Forbes Magazine for the Third Year in a Row[1]. Larry Wolfert, Senior Director, global real estate, said: “Working with a single point of contact at Regus for our global workspace needs makes our global expansion manageable and efficient. We have also saved a lot of money avoiding the upfront capital expenditure associated with fitting out traditional office space.”



[1] Forbes Magazine, August 2013, The World’s Most Innovative Companies