Saudi experts anticipate end of 'office era'

June 09, 2020

Saudi Gazette report

The coronavirus pandemic situation has brought about dramatic changes in the Kingdom’s business sectors with a transformation toward remote work taking place to a greater extent.

In this scenario, several experts in the field of human resources expect that this would produce a huge impact on the nature of jobs in future, with a gradual end to the “office era” and a greater reliance on remote work rather than personally attending duty in a brick and mortar edifice.

The business sectors in the Kingdom currently are relying heavily on remote work as their employees work from their homes as part of precautionary measures and preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Many companies and establishments have more or less adapted to the new form of work culture where some of them prefer and resort to abandoning the idea of working at office in favor of working remotely.

Saudi Arabia has begun implementing a multi-phased plan for the return of life to normal after easing curfew restrictions in a gradual manner. However, the continuation of remote work would reinforce the Kingdom’s move to benefit from its digital architecture.

There are several reasons attributed to this. These include expectations of companies to earn revenues through cost cutting in exchange for obtaining the same productivity from their employees working remotely from their homes.

It is also possible to hold business meetings through the Zoom virtual application and other programs as the new trend of online electronic meetings is gaining currency. At the same time, there has been a big jump in digital marketing jobs that has won much popularity in the labor market.

The Technology Outlook Center at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) issued a recent report highlighting the most prominent global and local changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic, in which it expected that the scope for remote work would be on the rise when the pandemic crisis ebbs.

The report stated that there is evidence indicating that there will be an option in front of all employers about the pattern under which their employees continue to work in future.

Experience also showed, according to the report, that remote work has the ability to increase flexibility and operational efficiency, as well as to improve access to talent, reduce cost, and increase employee satisfaction.

Bandar Al-Dabaan, a consultant in human resources management, believes that it is possible to perform remotely most of the jobs, which are not related to operation (manufacturing the product or providing service). “Many firms will have to wind up their offices in the post coronavirus period,” he added.

June 09, 2020
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