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Majority of UAE and Saudi business leaders now comfortable with shift to remote work

(Image credit: Shutterstock / LStockStudio)

Majority of organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which were not well prepared for the sudden shift to remote work due to Covid-19, are now comfortable with remote working and are now investing in technology to drive performance.

About 68% of UAE and Saudi organisations were not completely prepared to support remote working when the pandemic began but 95% of UAE and Saudi business leaders are now comfortable with the shift to remote work.

The Riverbed Future of Work Global Survey 2020 shows that business leaders are now much more comfortable with their teams working remote, however, organisations must have the right technology in place to ensure greater productivity and better remote experiences as employees increasingly work from anywhere.

“Businesses had already been accommodating more remote workers the past several years, but Covid-19 is accelerating this, and the office of the future will look very different with a more flexible and hybrid workplace,” Rich McBee, President and CEO of Riverbed, said.

(Image credit: Riverbed)

Issues impacting remote work

According to the study, business leaders see a direct connection between technology issues and how well their people can perform working remotely and even feel.

About 97% of the business leaders in the UAE and Saudi Arabia reported that technology performance issues impact the experience of their remote workers.

The most common issues – all resolvable – include frequent disconnects from corporate networks (43%), slow file downloads (41%), apps not working properly (40%), and long response times when loading apps (39%).

When asked about the impact these issues have on the remote work experience of employees, business leaders report increased technical disruptions or difficulties (44%), weaker employee performance and lack of productivity (41%), lack of clarity on strategic priorities (37%), and reduced direct services to customers or clients (37%).

UAE and Saudi business leaders said that the biggest barriers to success for ensuring the performance of a remote workforce are: training or manager support (43%), the need for software or technology to optimize or improve performance (40%), and the need for better visibility into network and application performance (37%).

Subbu Iyer, CMO at Riverbed, said that it’s encouraging to see that businesses and governments are planning to invest more in technology to boost remote work performance.

Despite challenges, more than one in five (22%) UAE and Saudi business leaders expect half or more of their employees to work remotely (full time or at least half time) after the pandemic.  

Moreover, 79% of business leaders plan to make additional technology investments and 41% plan to make significant investments in the next 12 months.

The top initiatives to undertake in the next two years include: updating company-wide remote workplace strategies and policies, deploying technology to automate remote network operations, re-evaluating and/or re-architecting the IT environment and gaining better visibility of network and application performance.