Workspace report says UAE is on track to become global hybrid working hub

A new report by Workspace, the Middle East’s leading trade show for workplace technology and solutions, claims the UAE is on track to become a global hybrid working hub with in-demand talent now prioritising hybrid workplaces as an employment deal breaker.

Exploring the region’s changing workplace landscape and how organisations are adapting, the report references the results of the 2022 Microsoft Work Trend Index report, where 98% of UAE businesses revealed they would invest in hybrid workplace technology by 2024, compared to 89% globally.

For employees that have remote work capabilities, a hybrid arrangement is swiftly becoming the new standard. Employers are increasingly adopting a hybrid work system that is effective and efficient, productive, and popular. Key steps are being taken by many organisations to create an effective hybrid strategy that strengthens rather than stunts work culture and the office environment, ways include the advancement of technology and design of office space.

Hybrid working provides employees the chance to better balance their career with that of their personal life, allowing them to save time and improve concentration. Productivity growth is one of the primary advantages of the hybrid work model as, according to studies, remote employees frequently produce more than their onsite counterparts.

“Data points suggest the region and in particular the UAE is fast becoming a global centre for hybrid working,” said Elaine O’Connell, Vice President of Design and Hospitality at dmg events, show organiser.  “As the local workforce increasing embraces hybrid work structures, companies must adapt to meet their needs. Upgraded technology to enable a feeling of connection during remote work, and designing office spaces that foster collaboration, productivity and well-being are crucial steps to support a workforce that values work-life balance as well as face-to-face communication and interaction with colleagues.”

Having run for over two decades, Workspace 2023 consists of three key verticals: workplace well-being, workplace technology, and office interiors. The co-located events along with The Hotel Show and INDEX 2023 are set to attract 28,000 industry professionals across its three-day run. Participation from major international brands includes, KASTEL from Italy, Dascco Spacetech from Cyprus, and Arterior Komplex KFT from Hungary. Event partners include Arhend, Bene Middle East, Haworth Middle East, and Sedus Stoll AG.

The Workspace Summit, a conference taking place at the trade show, will examine the technology and design demands of the sustainable hybrid workplace, including trends, innovation, workplace well-being, and interior development of future smart workplaces. Leading designers and creative thinkers will explore these topics across a variety of content streams. The Summit’s agenda is curated by a carefully selected advisory panel chaired by Marina Mrdjen, founder of Dubai-based marketing agency Intelier, partners with top global brands and architecture and design studios working within commercial interiors to support better living, learning, and working environments.

According to Mrdjen, “Technology has transformed the way we work, and the transformation is only going to speed up as we adopt further advanced technologies. It is this adoption in the workplace landscape that we will explore at the Summit.”

Advisory panellist Ben Corrigan, Founder and Managing Director of the interior design, architecture, and engineering consultancy Bluehaus Group is looking to the Summit to highlight the need for collaboration on developing new workspaces.

“It’s not just about the right technology, although that is obviously a priority, it is about accommodating it in a workspace that enables collaboration and co-operation to get the best out of people. I hope this message comes out loud and strong from the Workspace Summit discussions,” said Corrigan.

With a belief that design and technology are inextricably linked, Emirati-American Laila Al Yousuf, Design Director of Dubai’s Say Studio, also serves on the Workspace advisory board. Al Yousuf has delivered smart projects for a number of tech giants, including Facebook, Uber, and Hewlett Packard, and says technology must be sensitively adopted for both functionality and design to deliver sustainability and wellness.

“Design and technology share a power to transform lives and must be considered in tandem, which is precisely the focus of the Workspace Summit,” she said.

Workspace 2023 is co-located alongside the INDEX interior design show, and the Hotel Show and Leisure Show, enabling industry visitors to discover a full perspective of global design and hospitality trends in a single exhibition ecosystem.