More than half of UAE employees work remotely every week, and over 50% do so for at least half of the week, heralding a major reassessment of corporate real estate, according to new study by International Workplace Group (IWG), the parent group of leading workspace companies including Regus.
The UAE study was part of a comprehensive global study based on the insights of over 18,000 business people across 96 companies. It found that every week 60% of the UAE employees are working at least one day a week somewhere other than the office. 52% work remotely for half of the week or more, whilst 10% people work outside of their company’s main office location five times a week.
Globally, the results reflected a similar trend in the workforce with every week 70% of employees are working at least one day a week somewhere other than the office. According to the study, the emergence of this mobile workforce has been driven by technological change, globalisation and changes in employee expectations.
The study by IWG also found that UAE businesses recognised that offering flexible working strategies to their employees provided them with significant benefits:
- Business growth (91% – 2% above the global average)
- Competitiveness (97% – 10% above the global average)
- Productivity (85% – 3% above the global average)
- Attracting and retaining top talent (84% – 4% above the global average)
- Profit maximisation (91% – 8% above the global average)
For generations, the world has understood office-based work to involve a fixed location and a 9-5 schedule. But an unprecedented number of businesses are now adopting a very different working model, which produces benefits for them and their workers.
The IWG survey found that flexible working not only reduces commuting time, but enhances productivity, staff retention, job satisfaction and even creativity. This is in addition to the financial and strategic advantages that it brings for businesses.
The move to flexible workspaces reflects the changing demands and expectations of the workforce. 84% of those surveyed in the UAE agree that flexible working helps them retain top talent whilst 65% are now offering this to help them recruit. 44% agreed that offering flexible working improves job satisfaction, demonstrating the need for businesses to provide working environments suited to today’s employees to maintain a first-class workforce.
The benefits UAE businesses are experiencing are clear: a resounding 86% said that flexible work-spaces enable employees to be more productive while on the move.
The survey showed also that flexible working and the use of shared workspaces are no longer the preserve of start-ups. The world’s most successful businesses – including varied companies such as Etihad Airways, Diesel, GSK, Mastercard, Microsoft, Oracle and Uber – are already adopting a flexible workspace approach.
Source Credit: Khaleej Times