UAE employees are hybrid inclined

Companies are taking positive steps but more needs to be done
UAE employees are hybrid inclined
Hybrid working

Employees have experienced the benefits of hybrid work firsthand and many have expectations for it to continue. While most organizations in the UAE recognize the importance of flexible working, there remain opportunities for further improvement, according to a new report commissioned by networking hardware company Cisco

The latest Cisco report on Global Hybrid Work reveals that UAE employees prefer the hybrid working model and the majority of organizations in the country are prepared to shift to this new practice. 

The study polled 1,050 full-time employees across the UAE and discovered almost 90 percent want to work either in a hybrid or fully remote working model in the future.

According to the respondents, 83 percent of companies are supportive of hybrid work practices with more than 28 percent saying their companies are “fully prepared” and 43 percent “prepared” for the hybrid work future.  

The findings examined five key areas of preparedness for hybrid work, including company culture; technology; employee support; HR policy and processes; and cybersecurity and data privacy.  

The survey found that most respondents believe their employers are well placed in this regard, with just over 31 percent “very prepared” and 42 percent “prepared” for hybrid work culture.

Of those polled, 70 percent said their company needs to rethink its culture and mindset to make hybrid work truly inclusive. Overall, employees who were able to work remotely reported it made them happier and more motivated in their jobs.  

Almost 61 percent said they would be less likely to look for a new role due to this flexible work approach. Interestingly, there was a generational split between Gen Z (aged 18 to 24) and Gen X (aged 40 to 54) in terms of their company’s cultural readiness for hybrid work. 41 percent of Gen Z respondents felt their employer was “very prepared”, an opinion that is shared only by 27 percent of Gen X employees.

The poll found that 65 percent of employees in the UAE wanted greater flexibility in defining work hours, with 56 percent saying there needed to be more emphasis on employee wellness and work-life balance. Meanwhile, 68 percent of those questioned said their manager trusted them to be productive when working remotely, while 61 percent said they could trust colleagues to work away from the office. 

Hybrid working also adds some difficulties, as 62 percent of employees said remote workers would have challenges fully engaging with their companies and colleagues, drawing attention to the importance of supporting employees in this transition. 

Almost 73 percent of those questioned said cybersecurity was critical for making the hybrid work practice safe. Progress has been made on this front, with 68 percent in the UAE believing their organization has the right cybersecurity capabilities and protocols in place. In fact, two-thirds of those polled said all employees across their company understand the cyber risks related to remote work. 

Underlying the important role technology plays in hybrid work, 77 percent believe networking infrastructure is essential for a seamless experience for all employees, irrespective of their work location. Encouragingly, 71 percent of respondents said their company currently had the required networking infrastructure in place. This sentiment was reflected in 30 percent of employees saying their company was technological “very prepared” and 47 percent replying that their employer was “prepared” in this regard.

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