Coronavirus: Employees enjoy more family time as Covid-19 heralds rise of remote working

Companies across the world have adopted flexible working practices amid the pandemic

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Almost half of employees enjoyed more family time due to a shake-up of working patterns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, a global study found.

A poll of more than 8,000 people across 18 countries, including the UAE, revealed an appetite for a more flexible approach to working to remain in place even after the virus has been overcome.

The rise of coronavirus led companies across the world to shift to remote working, with many staff still operating outside of the traditional office environment several months on.

Research revealed 45 per cent of workers wanted to leave behind the rigid 'nine to five' working structure for good.

Just over a third, 39 per cent, said they also wanted to see an end to the five-day working week.

Nearly half of respondents, 47 per cent, said one of the positives that came out of the pandemic was being able to spend more time at home with loved ones.

They said they wanted this to stay in the post Covid-19 age.

The research, commissioned by global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, showed how people want to rethink pre-Covid-19 ways of working.

What we're now seeing is employees using technology to own a new future, and actively taking the lead in embracing changes in pursuit of greater freedom and flexibility

Alexander Moiseev, chief business officer at Kaspersky, said the working world was facing a defining moment.

“It’s clear this pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and the blending of our work and homes lives,” he said.

“What we’re now seeing is employees using technology to own a new future, and actively taking the lead in embracing changes in pursuit of greater freedom and flexibility.

“Companies now have a mandate to adapt and remodel the modern workplace into something more productive, sustainable and malleable.”

More than a third of workers from countries including the UAE, UK, USA and Germany said they were ready to see the back of fixed office desk routines.

The employees, from a number of small-to-medium sized businesses, said the pandemic had offered them a better work-life balance due to remote working.

Some 41 per cent said not having to go to an office or work premises five days a week allowed them to save more money.

The same number of respondents said the pandemic also proved they were able to carry out their work duties remotely with no negative impact on performance.

As employees continue to embrace more forward-thinking ways of working, the survey revealed it is critical that businesses augment and adapt the support they provide.

More than a third of the workforce surveyed, 40 per cent, said they actively seeks more technological support from their organisation when working remotely.

A recent survey conducted by Zoom Communications also showed that 31 per cent of Emirati employees in the UAE expect to work from home permanently after the pandemic subsides.

Just 27 per cent of respondents said they wanted to go back to the office full-time and nearly 38 per cent said they wanted to adopt a blended model of work that will see them working from both offices and homes.