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20% of professionals in GCC currently working remote or hybrid

IT and advertising industries embrace flexibility while construction and manufacturing lag behind.

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One-fifth of professionals in the Gulf Cooperation Council enjoy some form of remote or hybrid work.
3% plan to reduce or potentially eliminate remote work altogether.
One-third plan to expand their hybrid arrangements further.

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One-fifth of professionals in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) enjoy some form of remote or hybrid work arrangement in their companies, according to the latest research by GulfTalent.

GulFTalent’s Remote Work Trends in the Gulf study was based on a survey of 4,000 professionals and 1,000 managers and found that the most common format of remote work is 2 days per week from home and 3 days at the workplace. Among the six GCC countries, the UAE has emerged as the most remote-friendly country, while Qatar has the lowest adoption of remote work.

Startup firms and multinational corporations lead in remote work, in contrast with large local firms and government entities which have the lowest rate. Among industries, IT and Advertising most prominently embrace remote work, while Construction and Manufacturing do so the least, mainly due to the nature of their work.

Among companies currently practising hybrid work, one-third plan to expand their hybrid arrangements further, while 13% plan to reduce or potentially eliminate remote work altogether. The survey revealed that benefits of remote working included improved productivity, longer working hours, higher staff retention, and savings through reduced rental space.

On the other hand, surveyed companies who did not allow remote work cited its negative impact on collaboration, productivity and team bonding, as well as data confidentiality risks. Some also reported that the job required physical contact and challenging to perform remotely.

Hybrid workers with a separate workspace at home reported a net 36% increase in productivity when working at home.

The survey found that remote work can boost productivity when employees have their own quiet workspace at home, live more than 1 hour away from the office, and their work mainly requires limited collaboration.

Hybrid workers with a separate workspace at home reported a net 36% increase in productivity when working at home. By contrast, employees sharing a room with noisy roommates experienced a net 48% drop in productivity at home. According to the findings, hybrid workers report higher satisfaction with their work-life balance, compared to their office-based peers – especially for those with long commutes.

Among companies currently practising hybrid work, one-third plan to expand their hybrid arrangements further, while 13% plan to reduce or potentially eliminate remote work altogether.

Based on the survey findings, female employees are almost twice as likely to work from home as their male counterparts.

The study found that the majority of office-based employees would switch jobs if it allowed them to work partly from home. This includes 70% who are ready to switch to a hybrid job without any pay increase, and a further 9% who would make the jump even if it involved a pay cut. The study concludes that GCC companies can use hybrid arrangements to improve staff retention while moderating the pressure for salary increases.

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