Syrians Online Employment
Many researches show that the future of the online work will become equal to (if it did not exceed) the typical business and the working from office by 2025, this matter is not deemed strange if we compare the advantages and benefits of online work that both workers and employers gain, as for employers, online work (remote business) helps reducing the production expenses and costs (because companies do not have to rent building and offices for their employees nor to pay transportation allowances or other kinds of payments), also, online work contributes to increasing the companies’ ability to hire competent employees in various areas, in addition to their ability to keep their employees who might consider resigning because their areas of residence are far from their work location. As for the workers, online work offers them work stability, as they are not forced to attend at specific time and location, which means that changing their areas of residence or being forced to travel shall not cause them to lose their jobs. Online work also provides workers flexibility in performing their tasks, as they can choose their working hours that suit their personal circumstances and commitments. Also, online workers are not confined to search for jobs only within their geographic areas, but they can work and communicate with companies and clients all around the world.
The aforementioned advantages of the online work make it a perfect solution for the current situation of the Syrians because it suitable for the circumstances they are facing in terms of instability and being forced to flee their areas of residence. Online work also contributes to solving the unemployment and lack of job opportunities problems, in addition to the economic benefit that the online worker may gain due to the fluctuations of the currencies exchange rates, whereas he may receive the most of his wages in foreign currencies. Online work is also a great opportunity for special categories to work, including women and people with disabilities, which results in benefitting from all human resources.
Based on the importance of the online work for Syrians, we conducted this study which aims to empower Syrians to start working online through identifying the extent to which they are familiar with online work, work platforms, and methods of contracting and receiving wages, in addition to knowing their skills and potentials which qualify them for online work and to know the most prominent difficulties and challenges they face and weaknesses they have, and to offer proposals and recommendations to solve these problems and to identify their needs and seek meeting them.
The study was conducted in June 2020, and it covered Aleppo and Idlib in northern Syria. During the study term, 5 online work consultant experts were interviewed using an interview guide that includes open-ended questions, in addition to 11 online workers from these areas who were interviewed using an in-depth interview questionnaire, also, a random sample of 500 Syrian males and females were interviewed using a questionnaire that includes closed-ended questions, this sample mainly included youth with various educational levels.
The study results showed a low level of awareness of the online work concept among Syrians, in addition to lack of knowledge among the majority of them about the method of using online work platforms, methods of contracting and receiving wages. As for having the required skills that qualify them to work online, study results showed that a good proportion of Syrians have many skills that qualify them to enter the world of online work if suitable circumstances and conditions were available and if they get the required support. A considerable percentage of Syrians did not know that the skills they have may be a good source of income if they worked online. Regarding the availability of work requirement, more than half of the study participants do not have a computer, which is considered one of the main online work requirements, while the vast majority of Syrians have internet access. Electricity is also available for 6 to more than 10 hours daily for more than half of the study participants, while for 42% of the participants it is only available for 2 to 6 hours, which may not be sufficient for finishing online worker’s daily tasks. As for people with disabilities, the difficulties they face according to experts are lack of the special requirements that suit the type of disability they have, in addition to their need for psychological and moral support.
Based on the above, we stress the necessity of taking procedures that will empower Syrians to work online by launching projects that aim to increase their awareness of the online work concept and its importance and the basic information about it such as methods of contracting and receiving wages and methods of using online work platforms, in addition to developing Syrians’ skills and building their capacities that are suitable for working online. These projects shall also work to provide tools and equipment required for online work such as computers, specialized tools and electricity sources. As for people with disabilities, it is necessary to provide them with tools and equipment that are compatible with the type of disability they have. We also stress the necessity of following up on those people after they start working online and providing technical and advisory support for them, especially during the initial work stages.
To download the study, click here