Are UAE Companies Becoming More Flexible Post COVID-19?

Published August 25th, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
Are UAE Companies Becoming More Flexible Post COVID-19?
COVID-19 has indeed created an inescapable chance to make work environments more flexible. (Shutterstock: Irina Qiwi)

There is no doubt that the pandemic has been 2020's most defining mark, as it has broken out across the world and changed our lives on a transformational level. Thus, it's not surprising at all to see professionals focusing their efforts on analyzing so many facets of change that has struck all of our daily habits, needs, and activities, including those at the workplace in relevance it.

In light of the unanticipated shift to remote work last Spring, companies are now still reevaluating their expenses, their processes, their goals, and their best practices, trying to adapt to the new reality.

COVID-19 has indeed created an inescapable chance to make work environments more flexible, utilizing many tools and ideas that have been ignored for very long. Now, business strategists have the perfect chance to implement workplace changes, which can also help with the much needed recovery  following the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.

According to the Global Occupier Survey conducted by Knight Frank, UAE offices are expected to have a higher than average interest in cutting real estate costs, due to what they described as "the soft economic backdrop" and the continuously dynamic environment of the market in the country.

However, the survey highlighted the need for a more productivity-driven approach when it comes to cutting costs. It rather suggests that the workspace should be redesigned in ways that help corporates serve the rapidly changing demand of the market.

Taking recently developed changes that emerged from the COVID-19 crisis, companies might have to reevaluate the need for physical spaces so it saves on tremendous costs that can be put to better use in order to support other more significant aspects of the job, such as productivity and quality. 

Last month, Knight Frank Middle East has reported that prime office rents across Dubai fell 6.8% during Q2 2020, showing a greater inclination to switch to remote work as a first response to the economic meltdown.

Consequently, the cost saved from no-longer renting massive spaces used for everyday tasks and choosing to rent limited spaces for routine meetings instead, can not only help businesses minimize the financial damage during the crisis but also be able to invest more money into technological tools that can have a pivotal role in boosting both the productivity and the quality of their final outcomes.

The increasing interest in purchasing the newest and most advanced automated systems and AI applications can have a long-lasting positive effect on business goals. Additionally, business strategies can now prioritize educational and training programs aimed at helping to redirect the skills acquired by the human capital tasked with running the new systems; ultimately arriving at another form of investment that will most probably pay off once the crisis eases.

While COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to today's world, lessons learned throughout the pandemic can help accelerate smart solutions that, once managed wisely, can result in a notable success.

Can you think of other changes that should be made in work spaces to help manage and survive the consequences of the pandemic?

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