Remote working doesn't lead to less productivity or motivation. According to a recent study by Michael Page Middle East, it has the opposite effect, as many employees who work from home report that they are more motivated, productive and satisfied than before. 

Around 50% of job applicants based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi who responded to our survey say their productivity stayed the same while working remotely, and more than 44% in Dubai even think their productivity increased. In Abu Dhabi almost 38% think their productivity increased and in the other emirates almost 32%. 

Remote working also didn't lead to less motivation, on the contrary, more than 38% in Dubai even felt more motivated. In Abu Dhabi, more than 38% of the respondents felt more motivated and in other emirates, that percentage was as high as 42%. 

Employees are equally positive about their job satisfaction: between 42 and 62 percent in the UAE were just as satisfied with their work as they were before the lockdown, and many of them were even more satisfied (40% in Dubai, 13.5% in Abu Dhabi and 42% in the other emirates).

The lockdown resulted in one of the biggest flexible work experiments in history, and according to our survey respondents, the remote work experience was more than successful. 

Employees want the possibility to work remotely

The world of flexible work is calling. If it's up to the employees and job seekers in the UAE, remote working would become the new normal. More than 60% of the workforce would like to have the possibility to work remotely full time. In Abu Dhabi, that percentage is a high 70%, but also in Dubai (63%) and the other emirates (60%) where a vast majority of people would like to have the choice to work full time from home. 

Having said that, even if they had the choice, many employees would still come to the office for the most part of the working week. In Dubai, 22 percent would choose to work remotely for 4 days or more, in Abu Dhabi 50% and in the other emirates 20%. 

Employees and job seekers expect that companies will be more open to remote working policies than they were before the COVID crisis. In Dubai almost 73% expects this to be one of the positive outcomes of the crisis, in Abu Dhabi 68% and in the other emirates 74%. 

Remote working increased dramatically

The question is if companies will listen to their employees and grant their wish to work from home more than they used to before the crisis. Because remote working was not all that common before, COVID forced companies to implement flexible work policies. 

According to the study, between 40% and 50% in the UAE didn't have the possibility to work from home before the crisis. In Dubai, only 13% had the flexibility to work remotely, Abu Dhabi 18% and in other emirates 15%. 

Due to the lockdown, the number of employees working remotely increased dramatically. In Dubai, more than 62% of the respondents worked remotely, in Abu Dhabi more than 51% and in other emirates more than 56%. The only people not working from home were those without a job, or with the sort of job that didn't allow for remote working, for example in a warehouse or other floor-based roles. 

About the survey

For over a little bit more than a month, Michael Page Middle East surveyed job applicants visiting our website to try and understand the affect the recent crisis had on their professional lives, the support they got from their company, and what they did to make the best of the situation. The survey was filled out by approximately 500 job seekers throughout the UAE.

If you would like to learn more about the candidate sentiment about the current job market, you can access our quarterly survey results. If you are a hiring organisation, learn more about our recruitment services. Professionals searching for new opportunities can apply for jobs in the UAE that we are currently recruiting for.