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79% of UAE residents expect to work remotely more often after Covid-19: Poll Filed on June 24, 2020
covid-19, coronavirus, remote work, UAE, Dubai, survey, residents

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Currently, about 85 per cent of adults in the country are working from home, up from a meagre two per cent before the pandemic.

Nearly four in five residents in the UAE expect that they will be working remotely more often even after Covid-19 restrictions are eased, a new survey has found. 

Currently, about 85 per cent of adults in the country are working from home - up from a meagre two per cent before strict precautionary measures took effect, according to the research commissioned by Ciena. 

This whopping 3,530 per cent increase is not just a temporary change, the polls showed, with 79 per cent of residents saying that they are still likely to work remotely amid the 'new normal'. 

The transition to working remotely has been mixed, with the research revealing that that two in five (39 per cent) of workers find it difficult. This figure was lower for private-sector workers (37 per cent) compared to public-sector workers (48 per cent).

Jamie Jefferies, general manager and vice-president, EMEA, at Ciena, said: "This shift has a significant impact on businesses and network providers. .

With more people working remotely, both short and longer-term, employers and network providers will need to change how they deliver connectivity to users." 

Besides virtual work, the research also looked into the spike in other online activities. As residents followed #StayHome protocols, 67 per cent have been doing more video calls to connect with colleagues and loved ones; 78 per cent are using social media more often; and 74 per cent are watching more TV shows and movies online. 

While this is unsurprising, given the restrictions on social activities, the increased use of Internet-reliant entertainment is putting more demand on home broadband, according to the study. 

Three-quarters (75 per cent) have taken steps to improve their home internet. The most common changes are: purchasing a new wireless/WiFi router (30 per cent), upgrading the broadband package (25 per cent); purchasing a wireless/WiFi extension or booster kit (24 per cent); and using a wired connection (23 per cent), showing that residents are willing to spend money to get faster, more reliable connectivity at home.

"The data overwhelmingly shows that the lines between our personal and professional lives are becoming increasingly blurred as we adapt to working from home more often. With more demand on our home broadband, we are looking to upgrade in every way we know how, all to make sure we have a good enough connection now and in the future. This presents a unique opportunity for network providers as connectivity priorities change," Jefferies said. 

The research, which surveyed 500 adults in the UAE on their Internet habits and usage before and during Covid-19 restrictions, was conducted by Opinium in May.



Staff Reporter

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