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According to a recent study, more Small and Medium Enterprises in the UK are planning to hire freelance workers and use remote workers as a solution which is flexible and easily scalable during the economic downturn. The report produced by Regus also shows that businesses which trade overseas report higher levels of revenue and profit growth than businesses which trade solely nationally.

More than 2000 SMEs were surveyed for the report, 42 percent making plans to recruit freelancers during the next year. Of the companies hiring permanent employees, 29 percent are considering remote working opportunities. The trend towards a workforce comprising flexible and remote workers is much more pronounced in companies which trade overseas.

The report data reveals that fewer companies are reporting growth in profit and revenue, while a fifth of businesses in the SME sector report a further drop in confidence since April 2011. Almost a third of the UK workforce is classed as freelance workers which indicate significant changes in the employment market.

SMEs that deal in an overseas market are achieving greater levels of performance than SMEs who trade only in the UK. Confidence among SMEs who trade overseas is significantly higher, and the number of companies reporting growth in profit and revenue levels has increased. The regional director at Regus, Celia Donne said:

“Firms only operating in the national market should take note that they are being outperformed by those targeting overseas markets. It is now possible for even very small operations to establish a low-risk presence in overseas markets without making lengthy premises or equipment commitments and allowing them to expand or withdraw depending on market conditions.”

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