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UAE employees less stressed if trusted to work flexibly

Trusting employees

More businesses realising the insignificance of the ‘nine-to-five’ mentality, reveals study.

October 21, 2013 5:47 by

By allowing and enabling employees to perform beyond the constraints of traditional working hours and physical desks, companies can increase productivity as well as attract and, more importantly, retain talent.

A new study by cloud computing firm Citrix suggests that 78 per cent of employees in the UAE would feel less stressed if they were given the freedom to work flexibly from outside the office. They also said that if given the trust to work remotely, they would feel more productive as well.

The survey, released during GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, highlights the fact that only 23 per cent of companies surveyed in the UAE actually encourage or enable their employees to work remotely, using any device of their choice.

If anything, 36 per cent of businesses believe that employees may become less productive when working from outside of the office, while 26 per cent are currently examining the impact of mobility on productivity.

However, 17 per cent do not currently enable employees to work from outside of the office or use any personal devices, while nine per cent only allow it in special circumstances.

Johnny Karam, vice-president MEA at Citrix, says the findings indicate that there is still progress to be made and that they reflect the increasing need for businesses to adopt mobility solutions. He says more companies are waking up to the realisation that it’s less about the ‘nine-to-five’ mentality and more about working smarter.

He adds: “This year, in the UAE specifically, employees can see the benefits of working from anywhere and are keen to be able to build a work/life balance that suits them. In some ways, this is further emphasised by the emergence of Generation Y into the workforce, which has the desire and expectation for greater flexibility on where, when and how work gets done.”

According to an international survey by Regus last month, where 26,000 business managers across 90 countries were surveyed, more than one third of executives in the Middle East region work flexibly for at least half of the week. Fifty per cent also believed that junior employees, in particular, become more responsible through remote working.

Both employers and employees argue that working from home is more productive, relaxing, timesaving and reduces costs overall.

Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus, says most of the problems arise from people’s perceptions of remote working, rather than the practicalities, adding that anyone who thinks effective management of remote workers is not achievable is simply wrong.

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