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GCC Hopes & Fears Survey 2021

What do people really think about the impact of technology acceleration due to the pandemic on their jobs?

It has been one year since the pandemic shut down a large part of the global economy, forcing many employees into a fully remote work environment and challenging employers to rethink how they support and engage their workforce.

Even as we look to return to some sense of “normal” in the coming year, the way people work and the expectations they have for their employers have forever changed. It’s time for business leaders to reimagine how, where and why we all work, figure out how to best support their people in this new world, and recognize the larger role they play in society.

To determine how work has changed and what employees expect from their employers, we surveyed 2,500 workers in the GCC in February 2021 to share their thoughts, hopes and fears about the future.

Worker Sentiment About the Future is Positive.

One year into a global health crisis and ensuing economic fallout

Worker Sentiment About the Future is Positive.

COVID Accelerated the Digital Transformation of Work.

With many people working remotely due to the pandemic, we’ve seen greater digital transformation in the last 12 months than ever before. The employers that had already provided the proper skills and technology as we migrated our work online were able to make a seamless transition into this new way of working, while others were forced to play catch-up. Here’s what people are saying about digital’s role in the future of work:

 

COVID Drove More Upskilling, as People Are Positive About Technology’s Impact On Jobs

People who say they began the pandemic without adequate digital skills.

People who say they began the pandemic without adequate digital skills.

People who claim they successfully improved their digital skills during the pandemic.

People who claim they successfully improved their digital skills during the pandemic.

People who believe that technology provides more opportunities than risks.

People who believe that technology provides more opportunities than risks.


People who are confident they can adapt to new technology entering their workplace.

People who are confident they can adapt to new technology entering their workplace.

People with high school education or lower.

People with high school education or lower.

People who are ready to learn new skills or completely re-train in order to remain employable in the future.

People who are ready to learn new skills or completely re-train in order to remain employable in the future.

People who agree it is their own responsibility to update their skills rather than relying on an employer.

People who agree it is their own responsibility to update their skills rather than relying on an employer.


People who say they’re getting at least some opportunities from their employers to improve digital skills outside of normal duties.

People who say they’re getting at least some opportunities from their employers to improve digital skills outside of normal duties.

People who believe advances in technology could make their job obsolete in the next 5 years.

People who believe advances in technology could make their job obsolete in the next 5 years.

Remote working is here to stay

Of those who can work remotely,

Of those who can work remotely,
say there are elements of their current job that they could perform remotely
say there are elements of their current job that they could perform remotely

Trust in Employers is Mixed

People who are happy for their employer to use technology to monitor their performance at work (including sensors and wearable devices)

People who are happy for their employer to use technology to monitor their performance at work (including sensors and wearable devices)

Respondants who are unwilling

Respondents who are unwilling

People who willing to give their employer access to personal data, including social media profiles

People who willing to give their employer access to personal data, including social media profiles

Respondants who are unwilling

Respondents who are unwilling

People who agreed they would consider ‘treatments to enhance their brain and body if this could improve employment prospects’ – for instance, drugs that improve concentration or combat fatigue.

People who agreed they would consider ‘treatments to enhance their brain and body if this could improve employment prospects’ – for instance, drugs that improve concentration or combat fatigue.

Employers Are Expected to Lead With Purpose and Drive Greater Diversity & Inclusion.

2020 was a trying year for so many reasons, and as people dealt with the ramifications of a global pandemic, a sliding economy and racial unrest, workers started to demand more from the corporate world, pressing business leaders to weigh in and help solve our most pressing societal issues.
 

People Want Their Work And Employer to Make a Difference in Society

People who say they want to work for an organisation that will make a ‘positive contribution to society’

People who say they want to work for an organisation that will make a ‘positive contribution to society’

When asked if people would rather maximize their income or do good for society, the results were split.

When asked if people would rather maximize their income or do good for society, the results were split.

Workplace Discrimination is Prevalent

Workers worldwide who say they’ve faced discrimination at work

Workers worldwide who say they’ve faced discrimination at work

The majority of workers saying they’ve been discriminated against because of their:

The majority of workers saying they’ve been discriminated against because of their:

For businesses, the pursuit of a diverse and inclusive workplace isn’t just about doing the right thing. Studies and experience have come to the same conclusion: Diversity is good for business

Inclusive teams lead to different perspectives, creative thinking and open collaboration. A diverse workforce and deliberate inclusion efforts help drive better outcomes that can actually lead to the broader economic development of our society, which benefits everyone.

 

Contact us

Hani Ashkar

Hani Ashkar

Middle East Senior Partner, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3100

Randa Bahsoun

Randa Bahsoun

Partner, Government & Public Sector and New world. New skills. Leader, PwC Middle East

Tel: +971 4 304 3487

Donia Aqel

Donia Aqel

Director, Government & Public Sector and New world. New skills. Driver, PwC Middle East

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