Regus’s bi-annual Business Tracker survey interviewed over 10,000 businesses across 78 countries to find that over a third of companies (36 per cent) intend to increase headcount. UK businesses were close to the global average, with over a third (34 per cent) of companies electing to add new staff in 2011.
“The intention to increase headcount is a clear indicator that businesses want to be prepared to grasp the opportunities that recovering markets may throw their way,” comments Mark Dixon, the Regus’s founder and chief executive.
The fact that companies are looking to hire additional staff is a significant indicator that bosses are looking to grow their business. The survey’s results are particularly significant in the wake of recent International Monetary Fund and International Labour Organisation observations that global unemployment has reached record proportions in the last three years (up to 210 million since 2007).
As well as questions about employment, Regus quizzed bosses about their levels of optimism ¬– the UK reported a bullish rating of 100, up 19 points on six months ago.
“The UK in particular – where unemployment isn’t expected to drop and where fiscal accounts have deteriorated significantly – should take this result as a very positive sign of optimism,” adds Mark Dixon.
Don’t get your hopes up just yet though – the research also highlights that 41 per cent of companies are also still looking to reduce their overheads further (although mainly through means other than reducing staff).