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The Return Of 9-To-5? Companies Are Looking To Cut Flexible And Remote Working Options

The world is experiencing economic uncertainty and jobs are again at high risk. About 68% of businesses believe that they can make more progress by cutting off flexible working options that were created during Covid-19. The current global environment is slowing down progress in various aspects of working life.

A study polled over 2900 executive managers from big companies across the U.K., U.S., UAE, Germany, Australia, and others from September 27 to October 19. Around 75% of business leaders are worried that this economic scenario will drastically affect employee well-being. 74% of business leaders are concerned that the global recession will affect the skills and development of their employees. 68% of business leaders say that this will affect flexible work arrangements offered by them.

Alexander/Pexels | Companies are looking forward to calling their employees back for in-house jobs

Ali Matar, head of LinkedIn MENA and venture markets, says that they have noted a change in the last couple of years that development, working, and learning have become vital elements in ensuring business growth. He also added that employers will have to make difficult decisions, but it is crucial to remember that employees are a company’s valuable asset. It is also important to protect the employee’s well-being to get through this time. Employers that invest in their employees are the ones who benefit the most in the long run.

Nataliya/Pexels | The economic certainty will push business leaders to make difficult decisions.

Companies have now started focusing on employee work-life balance, well-being, and learning in the present era. As the pandemic started in 2020, employers allowed their employees to work from home at least two days a week as per their request. Employees also requested training opportunities and flexible working hours. found that work-life balance is a key preference for most employees. Due to this reason, more than half of the employees in the Mena region considered leaving their present jobs in search of work-life balance.

Economic Conditions And Their Affect On UAE Workforce

Despite the economic conditions, 77% of business leaders in the UAE feel that flexible work conditions will prevail for the coming five years. On the other hand, more than three-quarters of the leaders surveyed felt that the economic uncertainty would push back the flexibility given to workers. Leaders are now trying to bring employees back to the office.

44% of executives in UAE said they plan to reduce flexible and remote working rules for their employees. The economic hit is also causing 29% of employers in the UAE to reduce investments and financial support toward employee development programs. 

Faucets/Pexels | Some companies are offering commuting expenses to cover the decision to cut back on remote work.

These difficult decisions are taking a toll on employers, as many admit they feel guilty over these decisions. According to a survey, almost 36% of business leaders have experienced the imposter syndrome as they see their employees get affected. As a solution, employers in UAE are giving incentives to employees in the form of subsidized commuting costs and direct financial well-being assistance.

Employees who will move to an in-house position will likely stay longer in their organization. Meanwhile, soft problem-solving skills such as communication and strategy are gaining global popularity.

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