Jeddah skyline Saudi Arabia
Residential and commercial properties sit on the city skyline beside a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Jeddah's authorities have closed a shopping centre and a major restaurant for failing to abide by the rules to fight coronavirus. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: As coronavirus cases in the Saudi city of Jeddah have continued to rise, authorities re-imposed some restrictions and suspended workplace attendance, as part of efforts to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay.

Jeddah reported 447 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, and 577 cases on Monday, making it the second city with the highest daily reported cases in the Kingdom for the second consecutive day.

Authorities will keep monitoring the situation in the city over the upcoming days to determine whether harsher measures should be re-imposed to stem the virus outbreak in the city.

The new measures include restricting movement in all areas of the city from 3pm to 6am, halting workplace attendance for employees in both the private and public sector and prohibiting dining in all restaurants and cafes.

However, workers in vital sectors, who were previously exempted from restrictions, will be exempt from the new measures. Gatherings of more than five people and prayers at local mosques have also been banned during the curfew period.

Gatherings of more than five people and prayers at local mosques were also suspended during the curfew period. 

Saudi Arabia work culture change

With the suspension of workplace attendance continued, the coronavirus pandemic has brought about dramatic changes in the Kingdom’s business sectors, with a potentially gradual transformation toward remote work.

Within this scenario, several experts in the field of human resources predict that this would leave a huge impact on the nature of jobs in the future. They expect a gradual end to the “workplace attendance”, switching to the remote work rather than physical attendance.

Saudi Arabia’s business sectors are currently relying heavily on remote work as their employees work from their homes as part of precautionary measures and preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the Kingdom.

Many companies and firms have more or less adapted to the new form of work culture where some of them prefer and resort to abandoning the idea of working from office in favour of working remotely.

The Kingdom has begun implementing a multi-phased plan for the return to normal life after easing curfew restrictions in a gradual manner. However, the continuation of remote work would reinforce the Kingdom’s move to benefit from its digital architecture.

There are several reasons attributed to this potential transformation, including expectations by companies to earn revenues through cost cutting in exchange for obtaining the same productivity from their employees working remotely from their homes.