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Modern Saudi work force prefers ‘flexible working’

Traditional work environment is passé. Welcome the #GenMobile set of tech-savvy Saudis who are revolutionary in their approach to work, willing to even sacrifice extra bucks for technology-related conveniences and comforts.
Incredulous as it sounds, nearly 50 percent of the Saudi work force believes they can work efficiently from home rather than from an office, a global survey has revealed.
The report released by Aruba Networks explores the new breed of employees who are in the process of changing the traditional workplace.
The survey has thrown up startling revelations on preferences of Saudis.
Some of those findings are:
• Nearly 40 percent of Saudi respondents said they prefer working from home two to three days a week than receive a 10 percent higher salary.
• Over one-third (34 percent) would rather have their employer pay for the smartphone of their choice than accept a five percent hike in salary.
• About 59 percent believe they work most efficiently before 9am or after 6pm rather than traditional working hours.
• About 66 percent of the respondents want their cars connected.
• About 35 percent want their clothes, shoes or kitchen appliances like cookers and fridges to be connected in the next five years.
• More than half (51 percent) wanted to bring their own device to work rather than have an office with a window.
• About 62 percent would rather have their company pay for their choice of device than provide them with lunch.
• More than half (55 percent) expect their number of remote working hours to increase in the next 12 months.
• About 65 percent of respondents in Saudi Arabia prefer Wi-Fi at the expense of other connections (4G, 3G or wired).
• Eight-five percent declared that their mobile devices help them manage their lives.
The survey also revealed that ownership of mobile products in the Kingdom was the second highest globally after the UAE as compared to other regions across the globe.
Interestingly, 82 percent of the respondents in Saudi Arabia own three or more connected devices and they are in the second spot when it comes to having the highest number of tablets (31 percent).
The survey was conducted in Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, Nordics, Britain and the US.
It reveals characteristics of the newly dubbed #GenMobile, a group of employees defined by their preference for mobility both in terms of the devices they use and their approach to work.
“We’ve seen flexi-hours and always-on connectivity in Saudi Arabia growing for some time now, but this report shows that it’s now become a way of life for those in the modern workforce,” said Ammar Enaya, regional director, Middle East and Turkey, Aruba Networks.
“What this report suggests is that #GenMobile won’t have patience with companies who are not willing to accommodate their mobile lives,” said Enaya.
“To attract and retain the best employees, businesses in Saudi Arabia need to start looking for solutions to ensure levels of empowerment and productivity in this emerging working world. Ultimately, many will have to totally redefine traditional work environments,” he said.
While #GenMobile does not define an age group, for the purposes of this report, #GenMobile has been defined through a cross-section of the sample survey that showed the highest preference for mobility at home and at work. Typically, these respondents were aged between 18 and 35, according to Aruba.
Listed on the NASDAQ, US-based Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise.

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