With the Coronavirus outbreak spreading across the world, one-third of Gulf-based employers are planning to have staff work from home, according to a survey conducted by the Middle East employment portal, GulfTalent.
The survey received responses from 1,600 company executives, managers and human resource professionals across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Based on the survey results, up to 35 per cent of Gulf-based businesses could soon be asking employees to work from home. This consists of 6pc who have just launched work-from-home plans as a result of the recent outbreak, 5pc who have confirmed plans being rolled out soon, 12pc who are reviewing the concept, combined with a further 12pc who already had remote work arrangements prior to the outbreak.
Across the region, firms in Bahrain reported the highest rate of remote work plans at 38pc. This was followed by Qatar, UAE and Kuwait at 37pc each. In Saudi Arabia 30pc of firms indicated plans for working from home, while businesses in Oman registered the region’s lowest rate of possible remote work at just 18pc.
With remote work being a new concept for most businesses in the region, the survey found that many were scrambling to get set up technically and organisationally to have staff work from home. By contrast, multinationals surveyed indicated the highest readiness to switch to remote work.