Communications Blog • 4 MIN READ

The future of work in MEA - Outlook for 2022 and beyond

Written by Daniel Wong

The fusion of the digital, biological, and physical worlds, as well as the growing utilization of new technologies, has brought about a new era of economic disruption for the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

With the pace of technological change rapidly accelerating, it’s imperative that MEA stays ahead of the curve. There’s no doubt that digital transformation is the key driver of sustained economic growth, and the increasing utilization of new technologies is enabling the workforce of the future.

Closing the digital divide

Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, the Internet of Things, and advanced wireless technologies are all catching on fast, and with the MEA’s emerging tech-savvy, youthful demographic, technological revolution in this region is imminent.

One of the biggest challenges the region faces is the ever-growing number of unemployed university graduates. The new digital economy will create a demand for higher skills, and education systems should adapt to deliver them.

Attracting digital nomads

We’ve seen a proliferation of digital nomads – those who use technology to work from anywhere without the need to be based in an office – over the last two decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a huge proportion of the global workforce to adopt this way of working, and it has been embraced universally in the western world. Location is no longer an anchor for productivity, motivation and innovation. Hybrid working is here to stay.

But for the MEA to prepare for the rapidly changing workforce of the future, traditional management practices need to shift and adapt to accommodate a new, flexible, decentralized workforce. Key considerations are:

  • Business leaders need to focus on leveraging technology, and investing in infrastructure to reap the myriad benefits it offers in a remote collaboration experience.
  • Promoting more ‘21st century skills’ amongst employees, like design thinking, creativity, leadership skills and encouraging employees to learn new skills.
  • Promoting workplace inclusivity, and encouraging employees to be vocal about the personal, cultural and family arrangements they need to make a hybrid workplace work.
  • Creating incentives for expatriates to develop local talent, to build and grow national capabilities.

A global survey of over 1,200 businesses and HR leaders in 79 countries revealed the top ten capabilities seen as being critical for the future workforce, by leaders across 9 countries in the Middle East.

10 TrendsImage source: PwC

Data and analytics: Making the technology work

One of the main challenges for organizations is the sheer complexity of digital transformation. It’s not just the implementation of new hardware and software, but setting up entirely new infrastructures, governance, new organizational and working cultures.

In a changing decentralized working world, communication and collaboration is key. Once the physical office is no longer the pivot point of an organization, it’s vital that the communication tools and devices not only function, but enable flexibility, encourage innovation and create growth.

Hybrid working environments need to implement performance and experience management solutions to provide deep visibility into these complex systems, and pinpoint, predict and identify problems quickly – in real time.

The nature of hybrid working means multiple users and endpoints, distributed locations, different networks and platforms. This complexity requires continual monitoring to keep systems working seamlessly.

Using data analytics to provide insights into technical, social and cultural issues is important, as is end-to-end visibility to show where things are going wrong.

The more granular information you have, the easier it is to pinpoint issues, and identify the cause. A third-party monitoring solution like IR Collaborate provides all this and more.

The MEA is certainly moving into line with global trends, and while there are no overnight strategies that will enable worldwide digital transformation, it’s clear that data and analytics play a key role.

Topics: Communications Performance management Collaborate Digital Workplace Hybrid workplace

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