The Remote Work in the MENA poll, conducted recently by Bayt.com, the Middle East's #1 job site, revealed that almost three-quarters (74%) of professionals prefer jobs that allow them to work remotely.
As a result of the global outbreak of COVID-19, countless organizations in the region have enabled remote work for their employees. According to the poll respondents, remote work offers employees a variety of benefits including flexible working hours (35%), increased productivity (30%), possibility of saving on transportation, food and other expenses (24%) and increased quality time with family (9%).
Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at Bayt.com said: “The recent shift towards remote work has radically changed the way most MENA businesses operate. Post pandemic, many companies will likely continue offering flexible and remote work to save money and boost employee morale. Our Remote Work poll explores emerging trends while the region transitions into a new normal.”
As MENA enterprises enable remote work at scale for a majority of their workforce, most companies have ensured that employees have seamless access to their workplace apps in the device they carry, and that they develop meaningful relationships digitally. A majority of survey respondents (87%) say that they have all the resources and tools they need to carry out their job remotely.
Interestingly, 50% of professionals believe that there’s more room for professional growth while working remotely, and 21% said professional growth is not impacted by work arrangements. According to 89% of the survey respondents, MENA companies will start favoring employees who can carry out their jobs independently and remotely.
Furthermore, digital workplace solutions improve worker productivity by enabling them to connect and collaborate with fellow employees efficiently. More than three-quarters of respondents (79%) agree that virtual communication is a good enough substitute to physical communication between their colleagues and managers.
In fact, facilitating remote access can lower equipment costs, reduce office overhead, and boost employee productivity. This is especially true for employees who value autonomy while they work –41% of respondents said that they work best without direct supervision and 40% work best with some supervision but not a lot. Only 10% say that they need direct supervision to keep them on track.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have presented MENA employers the opportunity to rethink the way they work. More companies are set to embrace remote work in the future. A whopping 90% of survey respondents expect remote work to increase over the next few years while only 5% don’t see the trend taking off.
As for bumps on the path towards remote work, some professionals want to work with other people in the office because that’s how they get their energy. According to the survey, challenges most commonly associated with working remotely include feeling lonely or disconnected from in-office employees (24%), absence of opportunities to learn from colleagues and managers (20%), distractions and absence of a professional work environment (19%) and overwork / inability to disconnect from work (9%).
Employees enjoy the conveniences of home offices, and those with young children have more flexible schedules –85% of survey respondents say that they are able to create a similar work environment to that in the office at their homes.
Data for the Remote Work in the MENA poll 2020 was collected online from May 3, 2020 to June 9, 2020. Results are based on a sample of 2748 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and others.