The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on employee preferences. Offering flexibility to employees is key for companies. 61% of UAE-based professionals said they were less likely to look for a new job if they were given the opportunity to work remotely or in the office only one or two days a week.
The Cisco Global Hybrid Work study involved 28,000 full-time employees from 27 countries, including the UAE, UK, US, India, China, Australia, South Africa, Germany and others. The survey was conducted between January and March 2022. In the UAE, 1,050 employees were surveyed.
The labour market in the UAE, the second-largest Arab economy, is steadily recovering from the coronavirus-induced downturn thanks to the government's fiscal and monetary measures.
The Cisco survey found that 83% of companies in the UAE support hybrid working practices, with more than 28% of respondents saying their companies are "fully prepared" for a hybrid working future and 43% saying they are "ready".
60% of those surveyed in the UAE said their productivity has increased and the quality of work has improved since they started working remotely.
While UAE companies have taken positive steps to help their employees adapt to hybrid working, 70% of Cisco survey respondents said their company needs to rethink its culture and mindset to become truly inclusive.
However, employees who can work remotely said it makes them happier and more motivated at work.
The UAE is also among the countries where employees are least in favour of working completely remotely, with 9.7% agreeing that it is their preferred way of working.