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The future of work: How hybrid working supports people, profits and the planet

During the last two-and-a-half years, the pandemic has forced the world of work to change profoundly.

The global Covid-19 lockdowns meant that businesses across the world were forced to adapt to a remote set-up almost overnight, regardless of their size and scale. But they also created a significant opportunity for companies to reassess outdated and impractical working habits and bring in new long-term flexible strategies that are better for them, their employees and the planet.

Hybrid work – which enables millions of employees to divide their time between a company HQ, a local flexible workspace and home – is now the default way of operating for countless numbers of people.

In South Africa, thanks to flexible workspace provider Regus, professionals have an unrivalled choice of locations to work from. Owned by IWG – the world leader in flexspace – the group has over 60 centres operated by Regus, as well as other brands including Spaces and HQ.

The hybrid model is what employees want because it allows them to achieve a better work-life balance and to have more autonomy. In fact, a recent survey commissioned by Regus found that 72% of office workers would prefer a hybrid way of working, even if going into a dedicated company office five days a week meant earning more money. Furthermore, nearly 50% would quit if asked to return to their company HQ on a full-time basis.

What other benefits does hybrid working offer? As many countries face a cost-of-living crisis and an impending recession, savvy businesses are wising up to the merits of running a lean operation with minimal overheads. According to Global Workplace Analytics, hybrid companies can save up to ZAR 190,000 per year per employee, because they no longer have to pay for an expensive lease on fixed office space, and the energy bills that come with it.

Allowing employees to work wherever is most convenient boosts morale, productivity, wellbeing and staff retention. What’s more, by eliminating the expectation for entire teams to travel to a central HQ every day of the week, there is also less time wasted on commuting – something that also lowers a company’s carbon footprint.

With people and businesses increasingly recognising the benefits hybrid working brings to people, profits and the planet, Joanne Bushell – Managing Director South Africa and North Africa for Regus parent company IWG – argues that it is opening up a world of opportunity. “It gives us a future – here in Africa and across the globe – where companies can attract and retain the best talent, productivity and profits can be boosted, carbon emissions will fall and people and communities will thrive as investment soars.”

The Regus brand delivers high-spec traditional office environments, helping businesses and individuals across South Africa find a compelling workspace proposition that suits their own unique needs and price point. IWG’s two other brands in the region offer further choice to customers, with Spaces embodying a more boutique design-led coworking concept, while HQ centres provide efficient, functional spaces with all the essentials that businesses need, set-up and ready-to-go.

Through its expansive network, Regus can support companies wherever their employees are based, whether they live in a city, the suburbs or beyond. In Gauteng, professionals have an unrivalled choice of 28 locations, while Cape Town and Durban are home to around 15 locations between them. The network extends along the coastline to areas including Gqeberha, East London and Richard’s Bay, while inland, centres are conveniently situated in locations including Bloemfontein, Polokwane and Rustenburg.

Memberships are available for any kind or size of business, whether it’s for an individual or a national or international business with thousands of employees. Customers can manage all their workspace needs, whether they want to book a coworking desk, meeting room or private office for an hour, day or longer-term, or get IT support, on one dedicated Regus app.

To meet surging demand for flexible work solutions as businesses and individuals across the world continue to embrace hybrid working, Regus is focused on expanding its network across South Africa. Several locations are set to open their doors in early 2023, including a fully-serviced contemporary Regus office space in the Promenade Shopping Centre in Nelspruit, and two further locations in Pretoria, situated in The Boardwalk and The Village Mall.

Regus currently helps more than eight million people work the hybrid way. Bolstered by IWG’s other unique brands, members have access to a global network comprising 3,500 locations across more than 120 countries.

Discover how Regus’ hybrid work solutions can support you and your business at Regus.com.