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UAE heavy industry workers call for digital transformation

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  • Research reveals urgency at the frontiers of energy and manufacturing and the urgent need for digital transformation in the form of automating and streamlining workflow management, scheduling and approvals

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A majority of field workers in the UAE’s energy and manufacturing industries say they feel inflexible in their day-to-day work, but most believe technology can help them ease the burden, according to an IDC study sponsored by Microsoft.

“According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), what we call a ‘deskless workforce’ employs 427 million people in manufacturing worldwide,” said Ahmad El Dandachi, Head of Enterprise Channels, UAE, Microsoft. “We have to find ways to remedy the problems they face every day, and technology can play a key role in this. Improving the employee experience is a critical step in preventing a second wave of resignations.”

For “Empowering Field Workers in the UAE Manufacturing and Energy Sectors,” IDC researchers interviewed field workers and their line managers in both sectors. Their work reveals the stress of field employees. About 66 percent of respondents said that work stress, which was caused by long working hours and strict schedules, contributed to workforce turnover. But more than three-quarters (78%) of field workers surveyed believe that technology will allow them to do their jobs more efficiently, and the same proportion believe that technology will allow them to be more involved with the organization. When it comes to production and supply chain managers, those numbers soar to 97 percent and 92 percent, respectively.

When asked which areas of the enterprise should prioritize digital transformation, 47 percent chose task and workflow management, scheduling and approvals, and the same percentage chose automation.

Nearly a third (27%) of UAE manufacturing and energy sector employees currently work remotely at least some of the time, according to an IDC survey of human resources managers late last year, and this number is set to increase. However, both industries still rely heavily on large on-site workforces.

The IDC white paper also offers recommendations for UAE heavy industry companies on how to empower their workers. The report urges productivity gains through digital tools, combined with broad skills programs to develop talent.

“While the challenges they face are growing, workers in manufacturing and energy are currently without technology support,” El Dandachi added. “This must change as a matter of urgency.”

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft opened its headquarters in Dubai in 1991 and today oversees operations across the region.

For more information (media only):
Magdalena Stepien, Microsoft UAE
Second: mastepie@microsoft.com
Hussain Gandhi, ProGlobal Media
Second: h.gandhi@proglobal.ae

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