Over 90% of UAE employees believe robots can support their career better than humans
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Over 90% of UAE employees believe robots can support their career better than humans

Over 90% of UAE employees believe robots can support their career better than humans

To retain and grow top talent amidst changing workplace dynamics, employers need to pay attention to employee needs more than ever before

According to a new study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory firm, people are turning to robots to help them advance in their careers after the Covid-19 pandemic left them feeling lonely and detached from their own lives.

The study of more than 14,600 employees, managers, HR leaders, and C-level executives across 13 countries including the UAE found that people all around the world have felt stuck in their personal and professional lives but are ready to regain control of their futures.

More than a year in lockdown and the continued uncertainty due to the pandemic has left many workers in emotional turmoil, feeling like their lives and careers are out of control.

In the UAE, 91 per cent of people have been negatively impacted by the last year, with many struggling financially, suffering from declining mental health, lacking career motivation and feeling disconnected from their own live.

While 77 per cent found 2021 to be the most stressful year at work ever, more than half (66 per cent) of people struggled with mental health at work more this year than last year.

The report also stated that 87 per cent of people feel stuck in their personal lives, feeling anxiety about their future (32 per cent); trapped in the same routine (30 per cent); and more loneliness than ever before (28 per cent).

Despite struggles over the last year, people around the world are eager to make changes in their professional lives.

A total 96 per cent said the meaning of success has changed for them since the pandemic, with work-life balance, mental health and workplace flexibility now as top priorities.

While 89 per cent feel stuck professionally, because they don’t have growth opportunities to progress their career and are too overwhelmed to make any changes, 84 per cent of people said feeling stuck in their career has negatively impacted their personal lives as well by adding extra stress and anxiety, contributing to feeling stuck personally and taking focus away from their personal lives.

Going into 2022, professional development is top of mind with many willing to give up key benefits such as vacation time (71 per cent); monetary bonuses (69 per cent); and even part of their salary (66 per cent) for more career opportunities.

To retain and grow top talent amidst changing workplace dynamics, employers need to pay attention to employee needs more than ever before and leverage technology to provide better support.

In the UAE, 96 per cent of people want technology to help define their future by identifying skills they need to develop (42 per cent); recommending ways to learn new skills (42 per cent); and providing next steps to progress towards career goals (38 per cent).

A total of 87 per cent said they would make life changes based on robot recommendations and 91 per cent believe robots can support their careers better than a human by giving unbiased recommendations (38 per cent); quickly answering questions about their career (39 per cent); or finding new jobs that fit their current skills (39 per cent).

People believe humans still have a critical role to play in career development and believe humans are better at providing support by offering advice based on personal experience, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and looking beyond a resume to recommend roles that fit personalities.

“The past year and a half changed how we work including where we work and, for a lot of people, who we work for. While there have been a lot of challenges for both employees and employers, this has been an opportunity to change the workplace for the better,” said Dan Schawbel, managing partner, Workplace Intelligence.

“The results clearly show that investment in skills and career development is now a key differentiator for employers as it plays a significant role in employees feeling like they have control over their personal and professional lives. Businesses that invest in their employees and help them find opportunities will reap the benefits of a productive, engaged workforce.”

“The last year set a new course for the future of work. Surprisingly, amongst the stress, anxiety, and loneliness of the global pandemic, employees found their voice, became more empowered, and are now speaking up for what they want,” said Yvette Cameron, senior vice president, Oracle Cloud HCM.

“The evolving nature of the workplace shifted the way people think about success and reset people’s expectations for how organisations can best support them. To attract and retain talent, businesses need to place a higher priority on helping employees identify and develop new skills and provide personalized career journeys so they can feel in control of their careers again.”

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