Employees in GCC positive about post-COVID future; PwC survey

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Sunrise at Dubai Creek Harbour | Image Courtesy: Emaar Dubai

A new survey conducted by global professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed that COVID-19 has caused a considerable shift in the way people work and their expectations from employers.

The PwC survey which covered respondents from 19 countries, including four across the GCC, reflects on how organizations across the globe were forced to swiftly alter the way they operate and introduce digital upskilling programs to keep up with the technology-driven change.

The survey, ‘Hopes & Fears – Insights from the GCC’ saw respondents sharing a positive sentiment about the future with 61 percent of workers revealing that they are excited or confident about what the future holds. Employees from Qatar were the most excited about what the future holds for them (63 percent) while only 27 percent of the total respondents shared any form of concern.

71 percent of the respondents believed that the COVID-19 driven accelerated digital transformation has provided more opportunities than risks whereas, 40 percent of the surveyed stated that they improved their digital skills amid the pandemic.

Fear of Being Obsolete

More than half (58 percent) of the respondents shared their concern that the COVID-19 driven digital advances will make many jobs obsolete in the next five years.

Sharing his insights about the survey conducted among the Qatari community, PwC’s Senior Partner in Qatar, Mr. Bassam Hajhamad observed that “The COVID-19 environment has presented a mix of opportunities and challenges for Qatar employees. More specifically, it has accelerated digitization plans for both the public and private sectors.

“This was evident in our recent survey that reveals 86% of Qatar employers have provided their employees with new technologies to embrace digital transformation and adapt to the new hybrid-working norm. We anticipate this trend to continue and more remote and digitally-enabled working models to emerge.”

The survey results reiterate that organizations that provided their workforce with the necessary skills and technology during the migration to online and remote work were able to seamlessly transition their employees to the new form of working, while others who remained reluctant to drive the changes were forced to play catch-up.

Future of Work

72 percent of the survey respondents preferred a mixture of in-person and remote working going ahead. While only 19 percent of the surveyed wanted their work to be fully remote, 9 percent wanted to go back to the office full-time.

A Responsible Organization 

COVID-19 has also allowed employees to take a step back and assess how their organization has been contributing to society.

75 percent of respondents wanted to work for an organization that will make a positive contribution to society. Employees in GCC dominated at this choice with 81 percent of the respondents agreeing to the notion.

Related: Demand for car ownership surged in UAE due to COVID-19: Survey