It’s no secret that the UAE is evolving. We have seen a number of different transformation initiatives being rolled-out across the Emirates, and they all have one thing in common: they make the UAE a happier place to live. In fact, the Happiness Agenda recently launched several programmes, such as the #100DaysOfPositivity, that aim to address the needs of residents to enhance their overall wellbeing.
While the ultimate goal is to make the UAE the happiest place on earth, the country also fully recognizes the significant role that technology plays in bringing this to life. With the Smart Dubai initiative, the UAE is embracing the opportunity to harness technology in order to enhance the lives of the people living here.
In order to do so, one cannot ignore the fact that a very significant aspect of life is work. Since most people spend the better part of their day at the office, examining the levels of happiness in the workplace has become an integral part of the agenda as well. To that end, the Ministry of State for Happiness has set happiness and positivity in the workplace as one of the fundamental pillars on which it builds its programmes, policies and legislations.
It is also important to draw attention to the fact that technology is heavily embedded into the day-to-day lives of employees. And while it is true that technology is causing disruption in the workplace, it also plays a major role in promoting happiness and job satisfaction.
With the globalization of today’s workforce and teams going virtual, employees feel the need to stay connected more than ever to be engaged and productive. The use of smart devices and internal communications apps allow employees to collaborate from wherever they choose to work. Moreover, employees feel more driven and satisfied when they are not limited by location and are able to contribute to the goals of the business.
In addition to mobility, technology also offers employees the option of flexibility in regard to their working arrangements. Whether it’s for family reasons, or to avoid long commutes, technology promotes a healthy work-life balance and, in turn, promotes the well-being of the family.
Company cultures have also been evolving in the face of technology. When employees have access to the different tools which provide them with the freedom to be flexible, organizations foster a culture that promotes engagement, productivity and creativity. All of which are linked directly with the happiness of employees.
In fact, studies have shown a direct correlation between happiness at work and career advancement. With the help of learning and development tools enabled by technology, employees find it easier to take courses online, connect with mentors and upgrade their skill set. Performance evaluations and skills assessments that are digitized also enable individuals to access continuous, high-quality feedback.
With the increase of artificial intelligence (AI) taking on more of the tedious work tasks, employees are able to focus their time and energy on career and skills development. This also allows for more time to pursue educational or extracurricular interests that promote the overall wellbeing of the individual.
Investing in talent management can have a significant impact on the business. The digitization of HR has changed the way companies curate and deliver employee experiences. While advancements in technology are providing further opportunities for efficiency and productivity, it is important to note that it is meant to enhance the performance of people rather than replace them.
With that in mind, there must also be a focus on ensuring people are trained to use new, innovative technologies. As technology evolves, so does the skillset required to use it, and it is crucial that individuals are armed with the necessary tools needed to leverage the full range of benefits that technology has to offer.
This article was first published in Khaleej Times