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Those who advocate flexible work arrangements say that people tend to be more productive, and are happier and healthier, when they are allowed to telecommute and given a flexible schedule.
It appears that a growing number of employees in the UAE support this view, with 74 per cent of the residents saying that remote and flexible work schedule actually increases their productivity.
That is one of the findings in a survey conducted among 1,000 employees and human resources (HR) professionals in the country by YouGov for the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR).
Among those polled, many rate their current employers most highly for providing them flexible working hours. Flexible working hours have been rated as either good or very good by 64 per cent of all the respondents, and are most preferred by Emirati nationals (83 per cent), in particular.
A lot of employers in the UAE still strictly follow standard work hours and require their staff to show up in the office, but according to the new research, the trend is changing.
About seven in ten of the respondents said they are given the opportunity to work remotely across the UAE. Among those who follow flexible work arrangements, 37 per cent do their work from outside the office.
''It's interesting to note the insights indicate a prominent trend towards an increasingly remote workplace, and as businesses continue to embrace technological advancements, this will only appreciate the convenience of flexible working hours and open up a world of possibilities for a workforce hungry for the perfect work/life balance,'' said Lara Al Barazi, research director at YouGov, which conducted the study.
HR experts have also acknowledged that a flexible work arrangement offers a number of advantages. It makes employees feel more satisfied with their jobs, so they are less likely to leave, lowers stress levels and improves their wellbeing.
''Flexible working has many advantages: improves level of job satisfaction, reduces stress and improves quality of life. Companies should note that by offering flexible work arrangements, it can only lead to more loyal staff but also to less employee churn,'' Kory Thompson, country manager for UAE at Regus, said earlier.
According to Chris Kozup, senior director at Aruba Networks, telecommuting is particularly appealing to a new breed of worker, called #GenMobile. These are the workers who put ''mobility at the centre of their working'' lives, he said.
''[These workers] see themselves as innovators, and expect their employers to be too, eschewing the nine-to-five and instead working wherever and whenever they can connect to the cloud,'' wrote Chris Kozup, senior director at Aruba Networks.
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Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, gulfnews.com