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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Will work-from-home become the ‘new norm’ in Qatar?


An increasing number of businesses in Qatar are moving toward a hybrid working strategy instead of the more traditional in-office approach, as Covid-19 restrictions continue.

A vast majority of Qatar’s business leaders anticipate hybrid working will soon become a new norm at their organisations, according to a new Microsoft survey. 

Some 94% of Qatar’s business leaders will be adopting a “more hybrid way of working for the foreseeable future,”according to the ‘Work Reworked’ Report.

The survey, commissioned by Microsoft and carried out by the Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research, examined more than 600 leaders at large enterprises in Qatar who said plans are being set up to work outside the traditional office setting for at least a third (35 percent) of the workweek, as the health situation in the country worsens.

Some permanent changes are already in place with 74% of companies applying remote work policy as a way to adapt with the seemingly boundless health crisis. 

However, the new remote working strategy has its advantages and 78% of Qatari business leaders noticed additional cost benefits, “such as reducing their office footprint and spending on business travel.”

Lack of team bonding

However, the potential policy has its disadvantages as well.

“Though employees still see value in attending the office to maintain bonds with colleagues, they look for more flexibility from their organisations,” the report said.

Researchers discovered that due to distance working many employees have been struggling to connect with their colleagues, making it harder to maintaining a bond with the team.

“Eighty-three percent of Qatari managers said that they had trouble creating a strong team culture,” the survey said.

The latest edition of the annual Work Reworked Report provides information to business leaders across the Middle East and Africa to help navigate the new remote working phenomena. 

Microsoft, through its latest research, provides insight into how organisations can best support employees as remote and hybrid working becomes the ‘new normal.’

Read also: Dialogue with Qatar ‘more effective than boycott’, senior ILO official says

The sudden shift from the traditional in-office work to remote working “resulted in a dramatic impact on the employee experience,” said Rami Azzi, Modern Work Business Group Lead, Microsoft Middle East cluster.

“The employee experience has become a priority for every business leader,” he added. 

According to Microsoft News Center, “the prioritisation of innovation among hybrid teams can be seen in key traits amongst highly innovative companies.”

The study found that 77% of Qatari staff working in innovative work environments are satisfied in their job, while 63% in less innovative organisations did not feel the same way. 

“Protecting employee wellbeing can yield invaluable long-term benefits for organisations looking to thrive and grow,” Microsoft added. 

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