HomeInterviewsNavigating uncertainty in the workplace
By Economy Middle East
March 1, 2023 10:05 am

Navigating uncertainty in the workplace

Investing in the wants and needs of the workforce is key
UAE workplace
Serine Srouji, Government Alliance lead, LinkedIn

The COVID-19 pandemic started the conversation about the future of work, as many were forced to work remotely.

In 2022, global businesses grappled with constantly evolving return-to-office trends, as well as “quiet quitting.”

What lies ahead in 2023?

In the following interview with Economy Middle East, Serine Srouji, Government Alliance lead, LinkedIn, discusses UAE workplace trends and more.

We hear flexible work is on the decline. How are UAE executives feeling about flexibility in the workplace?


Our research shows us that while 77 percent of UAE executives believe that flexible work conditions will remain for at least the next five years, over three-quarters of them worry that the global economic uncertainty could push back the progress on flexibility that’s been made as leaders look to bring employees back to the office.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of workers surveyed in our research said that, if offered a new job or promotion that requires them to be in the office full time, they would decline the opportunity in favor of a hybrid or remote work policy.

Trends in our data show the share of remote UAE job postings continued its decline in January, with a 44 percent year-on-year decrease.

Read: Employees in the MEA frustrated with poor workplace technology

How are UAE leaders hoping to maintain their employees’ commitment amid turbulent economic times?


UAE leaders, just like their counterparts across the world, say that giving employees opportunities to move into different roles within the business is their top workforce priority over the next six months. This comes as they also recognize that financial strains due to the increased cost of living (51 percent) and worries over being laid off (34 percent) are currently playing on employees’ minds.

UAE workplace

How can leaders navigate the winds of the current economic uncertainty in the workplace?


There are several steps:

Take an adaptive leadership approach – Leaders must be transparent about the current reality and adapt to what lies ahead while providing employees with clarity on short-term business priorities.

Maintain workforce connection and trust – Today, just 43 percent of employers encourage collaboration and knowledge-sharing among employees. By helping employees build connections with their colleagues, employers can energize their teams and strengthen their company culture. A return to command-and-control styles of leadership will quickly erode trust.

Focus on skills – The skills sets needed for jobs has changed by around 25 percent since 2015, a number expected to double by 2027. By understanding the skills your employees have today, and those your company needs in the future, companies can hire or redeploy talent into growth areas.

Are professionals more focused on keeping their current jobs?


77 percent of professionals are considering changing their jobs in 2023. The top three reasons for considering the switch are higher pay (37 percent), better work-life balance (34 percent), and feeling confident in their abilities to land better roles (31 percent).

How are millennials vs Gen-Z approaching big decisions about their careers in 2023?


The growing appetite for switching jobs is highest among millennials, who show almost 15 percent more confidence in job searching, interviewing, and in their ability to secure better jobs in 2023 than their younger colleagues.

81 percent of millennials feel that their employers are not invested in them, nearly 25 percent greater than similar concerns expressed by Gen Z. Millennials feel more undervalued at work (46 percent), not motivated enough (65 percent), and that their wages do not require them to show higher levels of commitment (71 percent).

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