A report by global real estate advisor Colliers International has ranked the capital as the best place in Europe for businesses looking to grow and attract talent.
Despite recent figures indicating that work productivity is down in Britain, the UK remains a highly attractive country for employers and employees based on a combination of talent, location, quality of life and cost, according to the latest edition of Colliers International’s European Cities of Influence report.
The analysis of 50 major European economic cities for employers saw London retain its top position, with all other UK cities in the analysis featuring in the top 20 (Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow).
Simon Ford, director, EMEA corporate solutions, said: “In the face of negative reports surrounding the UK’s political, social, economic and country risk issues, our research demonstrates that the country as a whole remains in a particularly strong position.
“The study, which examines major cities and their contiguous catchment areas to account for the broader ‘economic eco-system’ of each location, reveals that the size and orientation of the workforce and the capacity and skill-set of the latent and emerging talent pool are key factors which continue to push London significantly ahead of other locations in Europe.
“In fact London has increased its lead over Paris in second place, as a result of accounting for a broader catchment area encompassing locations on the other side of the M25. While London may not score as highly as other European cities on some quality of life factors, it is apparent that companies in the capital have started to place more emphasis on creating workplaces that help accelerate their business and attract talent.”
The research also reveals that the nature of workplace strategy is evolving so rapidly that keeping up — let alone staying ahead of the curve — can be a challenge.
Employers are now focused on creating a workplace that can attract and retain talent by incorporating co-working and collaborative facilities, flexible working options and ingraining a healthy mindset.
With the onus on keeping employees happy and productive, the design and utilization of the workplace is helping to accelerate business productivity more than ever before.
Damian Harrington, head of EMEA research at Colliers, added: “Following the launch of our Cities of Influence research project in January this year, we have widened the search area to 50 European cities and incorporated some additional metrics into our index.
“The first results were weighted heavily towards operational risk, given we were in the throes of Brexit, but even then London and Manchester appeared in first and third place, respectively. With new cities added, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Bristol and Glasgow also now feature in the top 10.
“This may come as a surprise to many, as it is clear from our analysis that the operational risk profile of the UK has weakened as a result of Brexit, moreso than any other European country since 2014.
“Yet it remains one of the lowest risk European countries to set up and operate a business, and the added benefit of far more flexible labour laws means UK cities take a very strong standing.
“Even when we add in new quality of life factors to the matrix, and adjust the weightings towards employee favourable factors, all UK cities analysed in this interim set of results continue to feature in the top 20.
“Their relative positions do weaken slightly, however, as cities offering a better quality of life balance move up the rankings – notably Munich, Zurich and Lisbon.
“We also see new cities enter the top 20 with Utrecht appearing for the first time – the city with the highest quality of life score of all those covered in the the interim results of this study.
“It is also interesting to see some key CEE cities make their way into the top 20 in the shape of Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest as cost of living and quality of life factors help to improve their overall standing.
“This is also consistent with some of the broader ‘push-pull’ reverse migration themes discussed in our CEE Labour Boomerang report.”
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