Middle East goes remote for the future of work, business continuity

COVID-19 forced businesses in the Middle East to move to remote working almost overnight, but once the pandemic passes will it continue as a trend?

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As the global pandemic forced companies to close offices, it shook up the way we work, especailly for the highly relationship-orientated businesses of the Middle East.  When COVID-19 arrived, in order to maintain business continuity, companies had to rely on digital engagement models rather than the traditional means of personal interaction with customers and co-workers. 

While the Middle East has embraced digital transformation is recent years, many companies were caught short by COVID-19. According to Riverbed Technology's recent Future of Work Global Survey 2020, over two-thirds (68 percent) of UAE and Saudi organisations weren't completely prepared to support remote working when the pandemic began.

Schneider Electric has had a flexible working policy in place for several years, but had never considered a situation where all employees would work from home at the same time.

"Our assumed ratio was 20 percent and we did our sizing for infrastructure, data centre capacity and connectivity based on this," says Walid El Attar, MEA zone IT director at Schneider Electric. The business had to rapidly adjust in order to uphold business continuity, upgrading VPN gateways and internet connections as well as replacing desktops with laptops and accelerating the roll-out of Microsoft Teams to support remote collaboration.

Remote work spurs digital transformation

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