The EU referendum has already led to considerable upheaval in the EU and UK political landscape. Projections about the likely economic outlook are mixed and there is a shortage of hard data. But our Brexit Barometer reveals a generally positive outlook for the next 12 months.
We can reveal that 82 per cent of organisations responding to our survey believe their workforce will remain unchanged or even increase over the next year. 7 out of 10 expect their revenue to remain stable or increase in the next 12 months.
However, the survey of more than 200 organisations across the UK also shows 53 per cent of those questioned do not have a Brexit plan in place to deal with the fallout from the referendum.
Organisations were quick to sound a positive note and list a range of opportunities they had identified as a result of Brexit. The most common themes include flexibility and freedom from EU regulations; seeking openings while others pause activity; increased export opportunities due to the fall in the value of sterling; hiring quality staff while others reduce headcount; and creating new technology to overcome trade barriers.
We felt it was important to listen to a broad range of views following the vote for Brexit. It is encouraging that those we have been in touch with remain fairly positive both in terms of revenue forecasts and likely workforce requirements. This is important because sentiment is a significant driver when people come to take decisions on investment and strategy and we need to ensure we do not talk ourselves into an economic downturn.
Also interesting to note is the number of our respondents who do not have a Brexit plan. With current levels of uncertainty, ‘wait and see’ may be a perfectly sensible strategy for some but it will be important for those who opt for such an approach that they are able to be flexible and nimble if they need to respond to changing circumstances or wish to take advantage of opportunities which will undoubtedly arise.
Many organisations are keen not to stand still and we have already been speaking to a wide range of clients about issues such as immigration and supply chain management.