Say goodbye to structured hours: GenMobile workforce on the rise in UAE, Saudi Arabia
More employees are looking for flexible ways and times to work.
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Workforce in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, countries boasting the highest smartphone penetration rates in the Middle East, is fast evolving into a new generation called “GenMobile,” which strongly believes in mobile working regardless of time and location.
Industry experts say increased mobile technology usage at work is revolutionising the whole Middle East workforce, creating a generation of more efficient ‘desk-independent’ employees.
A recent survey by Aruba Networks revealed that almost 50 per cent of the survey respondents would choose flexible hours over salary increase. “This new generation, identified in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as in Europe, the US and South Africa, are strong believers in the notion of mobile working, in any location, at any time.”
“Today’s workforce is increasingly on the move, and mobile technology has become a necessity for both employees, and employers, with smartphones in prominent demand,” said Nitin Sood, Managing Director, Fly MEA, one of Europe’s leading mobile phone manufacturers.
“More corporations, across a growing number of industries, in the Middle East are recognising the benefits of the BYOD (bring your own devices) model, allowing for mobile working, and continuous accessibility, and as a result, are encouraging employees to utilise their chosen mobile device. This trend is accelerated by the constant developments in mobile technology, such as LTE data networks, which are allowing professionals access to information quickly, and on-the-move,” said Sood.
The latest International Data Corporation, or IDC, study on the growing mobile workforce across Europe, Middle East, and Africa shows that mobile workers will reach 244.6 million this year in the region, as a result of the corporate shift towards the BYOD model. IDC also forecast that smart connected devices will reach 513 million in the same region, and that the global mobile worker population will reach over 37 per cent of the total workforce, representing a 30 percent increase from 2010.
Fly has also observed a recent growth towards the phablet as a device of choice among workers in the Middle East, as they provide a sufficient balance between the performance of tablets, and the convenience of smartphones.
With mobile technology, employees and employers are now able to access emails and important working documents while commuting, at remote work destinations, and even at home. The introduction of high-speed 4G LTE devices will further increase productivity levels across industries by allowing workers to manage their time more efficiently, and will improve the quality of life for workers in the region, as they are able to reduce the time spent at work.
A recent study by Google’s Our Mobile Planet Survey revealed that the Middle East has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. The survey further revealed that the smartphone penetration rates in the region were highest in the UAE at 73.8 per cent, and Saudi Arabia at 72.8 per cent.
The report revealed that 86 percent of survey respondents owned at least two mobile devices that are able to connect to the internet, and that 45 per cent work most efficiently outside of typical working hours. The report further suggested that almost 50 per cent of the respondents would opt for more flexible working hours over a 10 percent increase in salary.
“While security is a top priority for many workers in the region, the ability to switch seamlessly between devices, and access important documents is equally important,” said Sood.
By Isaac John
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