Is hybrid work here to stay - Work Reworked study for 2020
Mita Srinivasan
10X Technology

Is hybrid work here to stay - Work Reworked study for 2020

Microsoft study finds working remotely increase productivity and supports talent retention

Research commissioned by Microsoft and carried out by the Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research, this year’s Work Reworked Report has found that almost all (97 percent) of business leaders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) believe that their organisations will adopt a more hybrid way of working for the foreseeable future.

Since the start of the at-home work experience earlier this year, researchers have found that managers and employees in the UAE expect to spend just under half (42 percent) of the work week outside of the traditional office setting.

A more permanent change around ways of working is already evident, with a healthy majority (83 percent) of companies now having a set remote work policy in place. The research found that 82 percent reported equal or increased productivity with remote working, and a vast majority see it as a powerful way to help retain their best workers. Most Emirati business leaders (76 percent) also reported additional cost benefits such as a reduction in spend on business travel.

However, remote work is not without its challenges. Research has found that many people feel disconnected from their teams, driving team cohesion is not as easy as before and more work is being done in silos. In fact, 61 percent of managers in the UAE said they had trouble creating a strong team culture.

“Being social is a big part of what it means to be human and the traditional office setting helped fulfil that need to interact with others daily. In this new world of hybrid work, it will be vital for organisations to recreate social moments like the morning coffee catch ups in the office kitchen to help maintain bonds between colleagues,” says Mohammed Arif, Business Group Director, Modern Workplace and Security, Microsoft UAE.

The Work Reworked study is timely during a period where new industry solutions are enabling organizations with inclusive digital transformation for all their employees. Fostering collaboration, online solutions are helping people and organisations to stay connected and engaged, ensuring fluid communication. Industry leaders are now navigating a new world of work, empowered by hundreds of new features and capabilities designed to reimagine work for the future.

Microsoft’s Work Reworked research provides insight into how companies can best support and empower workers as remote and hybrid working becomes the ‘new normal’. A survey of 611 leaders and employees in large enterprises within the UAE examined people’s experience since the beginning of the pandemic as remote ways of working became common, and also asked about expectations around the future.