Working from home is an essential part as a virus countermeasure for today’s generation. Most of us have recently experienced working remotely and see whether it’s productive.

Having a high-performance IT department at the UAE level came at an appropriate time, which demonstrated the level of progress prepares for such crisis. Some of them almost didn’t change anything in their systems, and there is no doubt that others needed time to equip themselves.

Thanks also to the departments of risk, quality and human capital, and others that contributed to this experience, it went off smoothly. At the top was the well-considered actions of the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, and at the head of the pyramid, the wise leadership, that spared no effort at home and abroad to address this global challenge.

The Main Challenges

Most of the technical challenges faced were provide for infrastructure that accepts access through secure systems and follows the highest standards of security. The second challenge is to maximize the ability of backbone systems to support and accommodate all staff’s devices to connect securely to servers.

The third challenge is to provide devices for the staff to be able to access these systems and provide communication tools and other systems. The fourth challenge is for entities to provide electronic services to the public and ensure the provision of all services without the need for any home visit.

Thankfully, numerous entities have done so with full professionalism and mastery, the most important of which is the Distance Learning System, which has proven its effectiveness. Others also provided all this in record time, as is usual for the UAE and Sheikh Zayed’s sons.

This experience has revealed there are many benefits from all of this, the most important is that the majority of those who now have the experience can fully accomplish their tasks without having to go to work. There is no doubt there are some tasks that require office attendance and direct supervision, such as the sectors excluded from The National Sterilisation Programme.

In a Twitter poll, 62.6 percent of the 1,640 participants expressed their happiness with the experience of working from home and that it is an excellent option to accomplish their tasks. And 25.5 percent expressed that it is not suitable because of the nature of their jobs – this is close to reality, as 25-35 percent of jobs could not be transferred to teleworking.

The Advantages

Working from home has many benefits; the most important is reducing traffic in the streets and thereby reducing the psychological pressure on employees. It also allows work to be accomplished more efficiently, as evidenced by the statements of many tech managers that employees have been in touch more than before and are doing so due to their psychological comfort.

Working remotely also saves the institution the cost of offices and services provided such as parking and other equipment. As for parents, working from home allows them to spend more time with their families, reinforcing the family fabric that contributes to enhancing productivity and following up on children, which leads to a more harmonious generation.

Similarly, some posts in which tasks are assigned to external employees may suit such an option. The main key is to establish controls for employees and strengthening the focus on productivity, not just attendance. Efficiency here is the substance of the issue, as this falls with the identification of clear tasks for each employee before assigning him to work from home. The employee may be required to come to the workplace once a week or month for one reason or another.

The Urgency

This synopsis of this experience: “Getting ready for the next 50 years”. After this health pandemic soon subsides, we can reconsider the issue of working remotely and its dependence on several uses.

The first of which is to make it available to be used by employees for some days each month of five- to 10-day duration, or to specify a period through the year where it can be used, say for 45 days. Or make it available when necessary and in coordination with the department manager, provided conditions are applied.

The exercise must be conducted annually or every six months to practice and study, similar to the fire and safety tests of civil defense.

By using the principle of working remotely, many new types of jobs can be developed for many tasks and take advantage of the untapped workforce.

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