Bayt.com: 2 in 3 Middle East Professionals Foresee Increase in Virtual Job Search Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Bayt.com, the Middle East’s #1 job site, has recently conducted a new survey in partnership with YouGov, global online market research company, in order to better understand the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on current and future workforce. The survey reveals that 2 in 3 of Middle East professionals foresee an increase in virtual job search amidst Coronavirus pandemic.

Professionals and companies alike have significantly changed their daily routines and have begun a process of social distancing, 4 in 5 respondents state that the Coronavirus spread is currently influencing their everyday professional life, while 77% declare that it is influencing their everyday personal life.

Many businesses are developing or implementing work-from-home policies to ensure business continuity – 45% of respondents state that it would be possible for them to carry out their current job from home. A whopping 78% of respondents state that technology has helped prevent the spread of Coronavirus at the workplace.

Regular online communication, particularly video conferencing, can help ensure tasks are coordinated, knowledge is transferred, and social and professional isolation is reduced. As an increasing number of employees work from home, 43% are utilizing resources and tools available online that can help them with their tasks. Just over half the respondents (51%) say they have started conducting business meetings online/ remotely to avoid physical contact, and 38% are using tools available online that allow collaboration between teams (e.g. on-boarding of a new joiner using a software).

“A key aim of our research is to understand the impact that COVID-19 virus has on current and future workforce. Our survey targeted professionals in the MENA region to gain essential insights and better context to help organizations offer support and guidance during these unprecedented times,” said Ola Haddad, Director of Human Resources at Bayt.com.

Interestingly, the vast majority of respondents (81%) believe that the Coronavirus outbreak will affect employability and hiring activities across all industries in the future. Two-thirds of respondents believe that their online and virtual job search activities (e.g. applying to jobs using online job sites, etc.) are likely to increase as compared to the other traditional methods, while 36% of employees believe that online and virtual hiring activities (e.g. virtual interviews, etc.) are likely to increase in their companies.

As the level of concern increases, there is a significant rise in professionals’ openness to counteract the spread of the virus – more than 4 in 5 respondents declare to have improved their personal hygiene at the workplace in the past two weeks to protect themselves from COVID-19. This is followed by avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth after using office equipment (69%).

The survey shows that MENA companies are taking a plethora of actions to assuage or otherwise mitigate the impacts or potential impacts of the pandemic. The top measures taken by companies at the workplace include strengthening of hygiene measures and procuring supplies (masks, sanitizers, etc.) (60%) and routine environmental cleaning (51%) in order to limit the spread of the virus in the workplace.

“This new survey uncovers measures taken at the workplace to slow down the spread of the virus. In addition to providing an overview of the pandemic’s impact on businesses and job seekers, the survey highlights the role of technology in helping curb the spread of the virus in the workplace,” said Zafar Shah, Research Director, Data Services at YouGov.

Data for the Impact of Coronavirus in MENA Survey was collected online from March 18 – 23, 2020. Results are based on a sample of 889 respondents from the following countries: UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, and Pakistan.

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