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Hello and welcome to the first special edition of Business News Now.

Today’s top story: Businesses across the UAE are under pressure to adapt to the next workplace era amidst evolving employee needs and expectations.

The world of work has changed irreversibly over the last 24 months and continues to develop at speed. This has shifted employees’ expectations regarding the digital tools and technologies they have access to at work. As such, businesses are having to ask themselves the question, are they equipped for the 2023 workplace?

In this special report, we assess the changing mindset of today’s employees, and look at how tech is making the difference in the current and future workplace.

Understanding employee needs

Although the changes we’ve seen since the Covid-19 pandemic won’t be news to any business owners or HR leaders, the scale of the revolution that has taken place may come as a shock.

The world of work isn’t what it was 2-3 years ago. Times have changed, driven by factors such as the evolving make-up of the UAE workforce, the rise of hybrid working, and the dominance of mobile-first technology solutions. These things have become accepted and expected by employees as the norm, meaning companies must adapt to thrive and succeed.

So, how exactly has the workplace evolved?

·   In 2020, millennials were 50% of the workforce. By 2025 they will account for 75%. This generation values their daily experience at work more highly than traditional appeals such as salary or job security.

·   93% of employees cite up-to-date technology as one of the most important aspects of a workplace, to access information they need (62%), resolve issues quickly (55%) and get work done (46%).

·   59% of millennials now expect their employers to offer mobile optimised tools to help them do their jobs

But recognizing these shifts is one thing. Responding to them effectively is where the real challenge lies. With more people checking in for work from their phone and demanding the same level of digital sophistication at work as they have in their personal lives, are some businesses being left behind?

It seems the answer is yes. More than two-thirds (67%) of employees say that their employer is not automating processes to improve their experience at work, while 52% don’t believe their employer is invested in addressing this issue.

Most worryingly for businesses, 24% of employees said they have “considered looking for a new job” because they “didn’t have the right software.”

Clearly there is trouble brewing. That’s why businesses must be prepared to deliver the digital workplace experiences today’s generation of employees have come to expect – or risk losing out to those that do.

Welcome to the next workplace era

With employees’ expectations higher than ever, the pressure is on businesses to respond. Investigations by our Business News Now reporters revealed that employees simply won’t stand for inadequate tools, siloed working practices, or a work-life imbalance.

For example, 75% of employees who currently have a hybrid/remote working arrangement say their expectations for flexible working have increased. If employers can’t meet these types of expectations, employees will simply look for one that can. Which, as the remote working boom has shown, could be a company based anywhere in the world.

Early indications are that businesses are starting to embrace this next era of the digital workplace. Many are turning to cloud-based platforms to drive flexibility, accessibility, and convenience. We’re seeing 470,000 monthly mobile work check-ins and some HR managers have been able to cut admin time down by 63% through automation.

Similarly, companies are making employee benefits more accessible via an app.With over 2 million employees logging into the Bayzat app per month, they can easily give teams unprecedented access to work, finance and medical benefits designed to boost their wellbeing and productivity. Businesses are delivering a world-class employee experience while keeping pace with their expectations.

This is all part of the wider Bayzat Effect, a phenomenon that is impacting thousands of businesses across the UAE. Whether it’s enabling employees to access key systems via an app or introducing new automated tools to streamline processes, changing the way work works has never been more important.

That’s the latest from Business News Now. Stay tuned for more special reports into the Bayzat Effect.

Louise Harty