Government workers from Dubai will now enjoy working away from their offices (either partially or fully) as new remote working protocols have been approved.
The move, announced on Thursday by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, will see employees work remotely if they’re eligible for the program. This initiative is among a string of others that have been rolled out recently by the government of Dubai in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It forms part of the administration’s efforts that seek to employ new technologies and create a newer, more agile job economy for the next generation.
According to the new protocols, only employees whose output will not be affected by working remotely will qualify for the program. Those who can comfortably perform their duties off-site without any hindrance will be allowed to work remotely full time while the rest will report to their workstations a few days per week. The performance and productivity of the employees will be monitored and assessed by their managers regularly.
The initiative also allows those employees stranded abroad due to travel restrictions to continue working from wherever they may be situated, and guarantees them their bonuses, allowances, and other benefits accorded by the government’s HR laws so long as they adhere to all rules and regulations.
“Adopting remote work systems has played a major role in ensuring business continuity during the pandemic,”said Sheikh Hamdan. “It has offered employees the flexibility to be creative and innovative. We are entering a new phase marked by new tools and innovative approaches to government work.”
Before its rollout, the effectiveness of this program was tested from mid-March to mid-June of this year, hot on the heels of the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The success of the trial phase of the program gives the government an upper hand in its implementation that is slated to begin as soon as possible. Sheikh Hamdan has given all director-generals the mandate to create their own bylaws as it applies to their entities and the nature of the work undertaken by the staff to ensure a smooth transition into this new work culture. The program also gives line managers the authority to determine which employees are eligible for the program.
Another official, Abdulla Ali bin Zayed Al Falasi, director-general of Dubai Government Human Resources Department, echoed Sheikh Hamdan’s praise for the remote working program, saying that it’ll not only have economic and social benefits but also reduce operational costs and traffic jams while boosting talent retention and overall productivity.
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