Covid in UAE: More firms adopt hybrid, work-from-home models as cases rise

The country has seen a spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, rising from less than 50 per day in the first week of December 2021 to over 2,500 in January 2022



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by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 8:03 AM

Companies in the UAE are increasingly adopting hybrid and work-from-home models again for their employees due to surge in cases of coronavirus and also to help parents adjust to the school challenges after the introduction of the new workweek in the country.

According to recruitment and HR industry executives, companies operating in the technology, wholesale, customer contact centres, and professional services are mainly shifting to work-from-home due to the Omicron-driven rise in Covid-19 cases.

“With the rising number of Covid-19 cases, and several private sector organisations still operating Sunday-Thursday working week, many businesses are reintroducing hybrid and working-from-home options. This will enable parents to adjust to the schooling challenge and ensure that their workforce and clients stay safe. Many people who have Covid-19 are not being hospitalised, and it is common for employees to resume working from home once they are over the critical few days of the Covid symptoms,” says Deepa Sud, CEO of Plum Jobs, a Dubai-based HR, executive search and business skills consultancy.

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In recent weeks the UAE has seen a spike in coronavirus cases, rising from less than 50 per day in the first week of December 2021 to over 2,500 in January 2022.

According to the ‘Remote Work in the Mena’ survey conducted by Bayt.com & YouGov, nearly two-thirds of UAE respondents believe that remote working will either increase or remain the same as now after the pandemic situation has been fully addressed, while only 21 per cent believe that the remote working situation will go back as it was before the pandemic.

Shreyansi Gupta
Shreyansi Gupta

“The success of remote work during the pandemic has reimagined how corporate work gets done and where the work takes place. Telecommuting will likely continue long after the pandemic, not just when the cases are rising,” said Shreyansi Gupta, head of marketing at Bayt.com.

Anjali Samuel
Anjali Samuel

Anjali Samuel, managing partner, Mindfield Resources, said with the increased numbers of coronavirus cases, companies are moving to 50 per cent capacity in office or totally to work-from-home.

Sectors leading for WFH

Samuel noted that most industries that are not service/hospitality/ emergency are doing the shift for the interim. “We see this trend continue for the coming month.”

Deepa Sud
Deepa Sud

Deepa Sud said re-introducing work-from-home is no longer a major challenge for most organisations as they are already set with their systems, protocols and managing colleague and client expectations.

“Most businesses now recognise the benefits of lower organisational costs, less commuting, greater flexibility for the employee and ease of business using videoconferencing. We are seeing an increasing trend in technology, wholesale, customer contact centres and business and professional services organisations moving to WFH over the next few days. I anticipate more companies will follow this practice,” she added.

Shreyansi Gupta said many companies, primarily operating in the technology field, are finding the move less cumbersome while other establishments more heavily dependent on physical contacts, such as restaurants, retailers, etc., are challenged with this task.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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