Local Business

Organisations in UAE speed up flexible working plans

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on December 2, 2020
Workers worldwide are shaping a future on their terms, whether that’s spending more time with loved ones, saving money, or working remotely

50% of employees in the UAE said that the fear of contracting Covid-19 is their main concern when returning to the office

Organisations across the UAE are accelerating this shift towards more flexible models of working, as a result of greater demand for remote working by employees.

Publicis Sapient’s latest research revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered expectations of employers and reshaped the future of work. Workers will look for new roles that enable flexible work schedules and work from home options, and companies will need to adapt to attract the best talent.

The research found that 73 per cent of UAE respondents said that they can work remotely, higher than any other country surveyed, and that five per cent want to work from home every day. In addition, the research also found that 50 per cent of employees in the UAE said that the fear of contracting Covid-19 is their main concern when returning to the office, and the availability of a Covid-19 vaccine would make 51 per cent of those in the UAE more comfortable in doing so.

Also, 54 per cent of employees think companies can do more to make remote working a better experience by providing wellness services. Interestingly, the survey found that only 12 per cent of employees have a room in their home dedicated as an office, but around 67 per cent said that they have been able to carve out a consistent, dedicated workspace. While people feel companies have done an average job at transitioning to remote work, 54 per cent said that companies can do more to make working from home a better experience, including providing wellness services, better hardware and Internet or Wi-Fi subsidiary. When looking for a new job, 50 per cent of UAE respondents are looking for a company that offers flexible work hours and 39 per cent want the ability to work from home.

“The global workforce is settling into the work-from-home normal; most are desiring more flexibility once offices reopen,” said Teresa Barreira, CMO of Publicis Sapient. “Returning to the office will be largely dependent on the widespread distribution of a trusted vaccine.”

Similarly, recent research by Kaspersky has found that 88 per cent of employees in the UAE don’t want to return to pre-pandemic, traditional work paradigms. Instead of returning to business as usual, workers worldwide are now shaping a future of business on their terms, whether that’s spending more time with loved ones, saving money, or working remotely. Moving forward, almost 45 per cent want to leave behind the 9-5 working structure. In addition, 40 per cent are ready to see the back of fixed office desks, and almost 40 per cent want to end the five-day working week.

Alexander Moiseev, chief business officer at Kaspersky, said: “We are facing a defining moment in time, and this is very exciting. It is clear this pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and the blending of our work and homes lives. What we’re now seeing is employees using technology to own a new future, and actively taking the lead in embracing changes in pursuit of greater freedom and flexibility. Companies now have a mandate to adapt and remodel the modern workplace into something more productive, sustainable and malleable.”



Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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