Study explores how remote working can be a successful model that ensure business sustainability and enhance happiness and well-being in the community
Fahd Al Saadi: ‘The results of this research will serve as a basis for enhancing the readiness of key sectors, primarily education, to adopt remote working in preparation for the future.’
UAE, 28 August 2021 - Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) announced that it has completed its recent empirical research studying the phenomenon of remote working, using the latest practical scientific research tools. The initiative is in line with HBMSU’s continuous commitment to promote research excellence and determine future trends. The University is committed to employing technology and innovation to transform education and create a positive impact on various economic sectors and usher towards a more comprehensive and sustainable development in the 21st century.
The new research is a unique initiative that provides the opportunity to discuss the state and future of remote working, a new working model which has been proven successful in ensuring the sustainability of businesses and continuity in their production processes. It was also found that it reduces cost, increases job loyalty, and helps staff create more balance between their personal and professional life, thereby leading to the happiness of individuals and better welfare for the society.
HBMSU is set to discuss the results and recommendations of the research during a special webinar titled, ‘Is remote working here to stay? Opportunities, advantages, and challenges. The webinar will be held in line with the university’s commitment to enrich knowledge and raise awareness about its most successful experiences. As a leading center for excellence in science and knowledge, it further aims to share best practices, in line with its mission to help advance the development of higher education at the local, regional, and global levels.
The webinar, which will be held on August 31, 2021, will host several speakers, including Dr. Omyma Shehata. Faculty Member -School of Business and Quality Management at HBMSU; Dr. Al Ounoud Mohamed Salman, Director of Quality Improvement Office, Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority; Nassim Abed, Founder and General Manager of Nexcellence LLC; and Noora AlZaabi, Assistant Manager Emiratization at RAKBANK, who will moderate the session.
The study, which uses a survey, was conducted with the support of His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al-Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, and with the participation of several other leading institutions from the public and private sectors. The research focused on examining the benefits of remote working such as flexibility, job satisfaction, better productivity, and improved balance between personal and professional life, as well as higher satisfaction or feelings of happiness among employees.
The research was conducted following HBMSU’s leading experiences as an active partner in training and qualifying teachers around the world for remote working with total efficiency. HBMSU provided major courses that aim to enhance the professional skills of staff in schools and universities in Arab countries based on the smart learning model.
The participants of the study also mentioned the negative impact of remote working, which cited increased workload, social isolation, distraction, loneliness, and weakening the cooperation among employees. It also posed challenges in terms of digital infrastructure as ideal implementation differs across the Arab and global standards.
The study concluded by identifying relevant best practices such as proposing dedicated and designated working areas to enhance employee morale, creating work-life boundaries, developing a timeframe that is consistent with a regular work schedule, as well as preparing and planning appropriate work, and ensuring continuous communication between employees within a positive and motivating environment for productivity and innovation, among others.
Dr. Fahad Al Saadi, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, HBMSU, said: “This new research is part of our strong commitment to lay the foundations of research excellence which we believe has a central role in better understanding the most pressing issues of the 21st century.”
“The recent survey has particular importance as remote working is a trend which became highly prominent in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a crisis that brought about transformation at all levels across the world. The results of this research provide the basis for supporting the efforts aimed at enhancing the readiness of key sectors, primarily education, to adopt remote working. The research further complements the university’s successful efforts to ensure education continuity in the UAE, in Arab countries and the world. This was done through the launch of several major initiatives, especially the “from the UAE to the world” which trained teachers in more than 100 countries on various skills pertaining to distance education and was administered in five languages.”
Al Saadi added: 'This in-depth research has revealed significant findings such as learning about the leading best practices that could positively redefine the future of remote working and serve as a significant contributor to social and economic development of the UAE and the world. We look forward to sharing the results and recommendations of the study to our stakeholders in both the public and private sectors, leveraging our capability as a pioneering academic institution which facilitate the transfer, dissemination and enrichment of modern knowledge using the latest advanced technological innovations.
“We aim to increase the awareness about the best practices in remote working, as well as promote our leading experiences in the efficient and effective response to the Covid-19 challenges and how we transformed it into opportunities to build capacities and transition to a new working model in the education sector. We have been doing this in accordance with the directives of the country’s wise leadership to adopt new tools and new thinking approaches that will enhance the work environment and meet future trends, including its opportunities and challenges,” Al Saadi concluded.
The in-depth research and comprehensive questionnaires which were implemented through a survey was led by a group of HBMSU academics, top graduates and scholars, namely Professor Martin Spraggon, Former Dean of School of Business and Quality Management, HBMSU; Dr. Omyma Shehata, Faculty Member, School of Business and Quality Management; and several graduate learners including Nassim Abd, Nour Abu Mahfouz, Maryam Al Moosawi, Ebtihal Jassim, Noora Al Zaabi, Mariam Al Dhaheri, Soheila Ali Reza, and Zahra Allowatia.
Key recommendations have been developed in support of remote working as a policy, which include preparing a guideline or system for remote working and creating a positive culture that encourage remote working. The study also recommended establishing systems that enhance employee welfare and improving internal audit mechanisms to ensure productivity quality.
The upcoming webinar will shed light on remote working best practices based on the results of new research titled ‘An Empirical Study in the UAE’. The study suggests the need for a dedicated and designated working environment that would enhance the morale of employees, the importance of setting boundaries between work and personal life and developing a time frame that follows the regular work schedule. It also recommended the importance of proper preparation and planning for work and ensuring the constant communication between employees within a positive and motivating environment for productivity and innovation, among others.