More than a quarter of UAE, Saudi businesses to allow remote work post-Covid: study - Gulf Business
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More than a quarter of UAE, Saudi businesses to allow remote work post-Covid: study

More than a quarter of UAE, Saudi businesses to allow remote work post-Covid: study

Technology performance issues hindering remote workers

DIFC Dubai

More than one in five (22 per cent) UAE and Saudi business leaders expect half or more of their employees to work remotely (full time or at least half time) after Covid-19, new research by Riverbed reveals.

This is despite the fact that nearly all (97 per cent) of the business leaders surveyed in the two countries reported that technology performance issues have impacted the experience of their remote workers.

“The last several months have given organisations a better understanding of the barriers to success for creating a high-impact remote workforce,” said Subbu Iyer, CMO at Riverbed.

According to the “Future of Work” study by the network performance solutions vendor, the most common issues remote workers face include frequent disconnects from corporate networks (43 per cent), slow file downloads (41 per cent), apps not working properly (40 per cent), and long response times when loading apps (39 per cent).

Organisations in the region have universally accepted the ‘new normal’, the study show. Almost all (95 per cent) business leaders in the UAE and Saudi Arabia state that they are comfortable with the broad-scale shift toward remote work. In contrast, over two-thirds (68 per cent) of organisations in the two countries were not completely prepared to support remote working when the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“This new study shows that business leaders are now much more comfortable with their teams working remotely. However, organisations must have the right technology in place to ensure greater productivity and a better remote experience as employees increasingly work from anywhere,” said Rich McBee, president and CEO of Riverbed.

To drive greater remote working performance, the large majority (79 per cent) of UAE and Saudi business leaders plan to make additional technology investments – and 41 per cent plan to make significant investments – in the next 12 months. The top initiatives regional business decision makers plan to undertake in the next two years include: updating company-wide remote workplace strategies and policies (48 per cent); deploying technology to automate remote network operations (47 per cent); re-evaluating and/or re-architecting the IT environment (46 per cent), and; gaining better visibility of network and application performance (45 per cent).

“It’s encouraging to see from the Future of Work survey and in conversations with our customers, that businesses and governments are planning to invest more in technology to boost remote work performance,” said Iyer.

Middle East business leaders expect to gain long-term benefits for their employees and bottom line as a result of increasing their remote workforce, including: better work-life balance (56) per cent; increases in employee retention (48 per cent); savings from office space and related costs (48 per cent); better use of technology 48 per cent, the study showed.

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