YouGov’s latest research reveals that a large proportion of UAE employees are very positive about how their employer has treated them during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 56% rating their company’s treatment of staff as ‘excellent’ (31%) or ‘very good’ (25%).
The figures are noticeably higher among employees working in the ‘Banking & Finance’ sector (73%). Advertising/ Marketing/ PR professionals (63%) and those working in the ‘Education’ sector (61%) also seem happy with their employer’s conduct towards them during this time.
On the contrary, 21% of all respondents claimed their employer’s treatment has been “good” and only 23% rated it as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’. This proportion is considerably higher among those working in the Tourism and Hospitality industry (35% rating ‘Fair’ or ‘Poor’).
When asked about the behaviour of various sectors within the UAE economy in response to the pandemic, residents were more likely to say all the sectors have behaved well rather than poorly.
The Supermarket sector (81%) leads among businesses perceived to have responded well to the pandemic, followed by Pharmaceutical companies (77%), Utilities (72%) and Technology sectors (70%).
Comparatively, a lower proportion rated the behaviour of ‘airlines’ and ‘leisure companies’ positively. 45% feel that airlines have responded well to the outbreak, but a third (32%) describe their behaviour as ‘poor’. The same is true for leisure companies, where the figures are 44% and 29%, respectively.
Opinions are most polarised over the behaviour of the holiday/ travel companies, with 37% feeling companies in this industry have responded well, and a further 33% believing them to have responded poorly.
With regard to companies who have lost most of their day-to-day business, a third of residents believe that despite the circumstances their employees should be kept fully employed and fully paid (32%). A quarter (24%), however, said employees should have their pay cut until normal work resumes. Others feel workers should be furloughed (17%). A small minority (13%) feel if necessary some employees should be laid off altogether from their jobs.
Thinking about the future of work, a majority predict less business travel and greater use of video conferencing (51%) because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many believe that remote working will be relied on far more for many businesses (42%) and more organisations will shut stores and move their businesses to online-only (40%).
Alongside this, 36% believe profits will be retained by businesses in future to allow for an emergency fund in times of crisis. Some employees foresee attitudinal changes from companies in the UAE, with 22% believing that businesses will value their existing employees more, and 30% predicting companies will make more of an effort to support their local communities.
Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1001 working respondents in the UAE between 3rd and 10thJune 2020 using YouGov’s panel of over 6 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country.