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Dubai Government Is Joining Flexible Working Train

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Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, inaugurates Dewa’s Future Centre for Customer Happiness at Ibn Battuta Mall. Wam / Dubai government is joining flexible working train

Dubai’s government will be introducing flexible working for all departments. According to Gulfnews, the Dubai Government Human Resources Department (DGHR) announced on Saturday, that they will activate the flexible working system across all government departments starting Sunday August 16.

Why Dubai Government Is Joining Flexible Working Train

The policy aims to increase employees’ happiness and improve their productivity. This is in line with the implementation of the directives of the Strategic Affairs Council of Dubai’s Executive Council.

According to Abdulla Ali bin Zayed Al Falasi, Director General of DGHR Department, the decision aims to ensure the safety of employees, especially in emergency weather conditions.

Abdullah Al Falasi said flexible hours could help ease traffic congestion during peak hours. It will improve work-life balance, motivation and give employees more time to devote to their hobbies.

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This is in addition to helping employees achieve job well-being, reduce attendance delays, and leave permission.

Dubai Government Is Joining Flexible Working Train, Driven by COVID-19

UAE firms were previously said to be slow to adopt flexible working practices. Even though this had become popular in some of the more mature markets, like the US, UK and Singapore.

That all changed with the outbreak of Covid-19.

Cautiously like the rest of the world, Dubai government employees returned to the workplace in phases starting from May. This followed the closure of offices in March due to the coronavirus.

Starting at 30 per cent, then 50 per cent, the full workforce returned to government offices in Dubai in mid-June.

Employees with compromised immunity, those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and people with disabilities were told they should continue to work remotely from home.

Returning employees found their workplace very different. There were signs explaining social distancing protocols and reminders to frequently sanitize their hands.

What Will Not Be Compromised Even Though Dubai Government Is Joining Flexible Working Train

In the circular issued on Saturday, the DGHR department stated the period within the flexible working hours, in the morning period, when an employee can resume for work. Work can start anytime from 6:30am until 8:30am.

This is provided that the employee shall complete the number of official working hours as determined by the government entity that the person works for.

Employees whose roles require “continuous communication” with the public, and staff working in shifts, are not eligible.

To be eligible, their department must find a way to bring in flexible hours without impacting its services. And done without prejudice to the smooth running of their work.

The circular obliged human resources departments of government entities to amend the internal regulations related to attendance and departure hours. They are to provide a mechanism for implementing the circular, so it can achieve the desired goals.

When the implementation kicks off, they are to provide periodic reports and data on the results of the new working model, and submit to DGHR.

All Encompassing Benefits

“The world is not going to change in two hours, especially in the morning. There is nothing urgent to submit in those times. So it will definitely improve productivity and give more flexibility to the employee. There is also very little risk for the employer,” said Vijay Gandhi, regional director for Korn Ferry Digital, a global consultancy firm.

“The biggest benefit in these times of flexible hours is the adaptability with family situations, especially with online schooling,” said Mr Gandhi.

Parents are being given a choice to send their kids to school or not. This allows people in Dubai Government to be more flexible at home. Productivity is not impacted negatively in any way because employees are still working the same number of hours.

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