April 22, 2015
It’s not just in the UK where employees say they are attracted by the idea of flexible working. A new study from YouGov commissioned by the Dubai based Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) claims that employees in the United Arab Emirates now rate employers most highly for the smart tools and flexible working opportunities they offer. The study of over 1,000 employees and HR professionals in the UAE was commissioned to uncover emerging trends in human capital management. It found that 64 percent of employees rate flexible working hours, provided by employers based on personal circumstances, as good or very good, which is particularly prevalent amongst Emirati respondents (83 percent). The majority of employees (74 percent) also believe a remote and flexible work schedule increases their productivity.
Meanwhile 7 in 10 say they are already given the opportunity to work remotely. Of those that do work remotely, 37 percent work most of the week outside the office. When asked how they see the future workplace in the UAE, the highest proportion of HR professionals (54 percent), say there will be additional flexibility in staff working hours. This is followed by embracing a more efficient workplace (52 percent) and better learning opportunities (51 percent).
UAE working professionals rate their current employers second most highly for the availability of smart tools to increase their work productivity (57 percent). Again, there is a clear indication that the tech-based tools on offer to employees will only expand in future with 85 percent of HR professionals claiming their organisations are open to adopting smart technologies in the workplace. Of those already adopting change for the future, 54 percent are extremely supportive of embracing new technological advancements.
Commenting on the findings, YouGov’s research director Lara Al Barazi said, “It’s interesting to note the insights indicate a prominent trend towards an increasingly ‘remote workplace’, and as businesses continue to embrace technological advancements – this will only appreciate the convenience of flexible working hours and open up a world of possibilities for a workforce hungry for the perfect work/life balance.”
The report also found that 40 percent of HR professionals also say hiring professional and technical staff has become increasingly competitive over the past 12 months. With 2 in 5 employees saying they look to change their job in the next 6 months, the report concludes that this highlights how critical it is for businesses to listen to the needs of the next generation’s tech-savvy candidate base to win the fight for talent in the region.
Ibrahim Fikri, director of projects at FAHR commented further on the study saying, “The leadership of the UAE have long set a vision for driving smart initiatives within the government and public sectors. Findings from this study further support this vision by illustrating how smart technology can improve productivity and overall economic competitiveness in the country.”