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Coronavirus Pandemic

No meetings, no socialising: Dubai firms spring back to 100% capacity

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 4, 2020 | Last updated on June 4, 2020 at 06.22 am
No meetings, no socialising, coronavirus, covid-19, Dubai firms, spring back, 100% capacity

(Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times)

It's not easy for every firm to ensure the same level of safety for its employees with pre-Covid office settings.

With private sector offices in Dubai now allowed to operate at 100 per cent capacity, business leaders are chalking out efficient back-to-work strategies with employee well-being in mind.

Khaleej Times spoke to some firms about how they will restore normalcy at offices while ensuring employees adhere to precautionary guidelines.

Employees fanned out across city

It's not easy for every firm to ensure the same level of safety for its employees with pre-Covid office settings.

Bharat Bhatia, CEO, Conares, said: "They have to plan dexterously either by acquiring extra space or spreading out in different offices, if possible. So, in our case, employees are operating from our different offices to ensure that we are more spaced out. Therefore, everyone is now busy reevaluating their needs keeping in mind employee safety."

Abdulla Ahmed Nalapad, managing director of Nalapad Investments, said they have adopted a similar strategy. "We have moved a lot of our staff from the head office to our operational offices elsewhere in the city to ensure social distancing."

Office transport, limited car pooling

Nalapad said they are urging employees to car-pool with a maximum of three in a car. "We are also using office cars to pick up other employees who otherwise travel by public transport."

No socialising, new ways of communication

Sumanta Banerjee, CFO, Kimoha Entrepreneurs FZCO, said interactions between employees are being limited. "Employees are being encouraged to use intra-office communication channels to call each other and discuss issues. They walk over to cabins and stand outside as they speak to the person inside the cabin."

Limiting client meetings

Discouraging face-to-face client meetings as much as possible and serving beverages to office guests only in disposable cups and glasses are among other measures being explored by firms.

Ali Shabdar, MEA regional director, Zoho Corp, said: "Even though offices have fully opened up in Dubai, we are discouraging meetings with outsiders. We have to police ourselves more than ever before."

Continuing work-from-home system

Shabdar said they were assessing employees' work-from-home capabilities. "We are giving them the option to function remotely if they are not comfortable travelling to work and exposing themselves."

Multiple shifts

Savio Caesar, marketing manager, Blue Diamond Fire Protection, said: "The basic hygiene protocols have been placed for a while now. But more importantly, I have split my employees in two shifts recently. So, one shift comes in at 5am and leaves at 12pm, and the other shift enters at noon and works till 6pm."

Frequent sterilisation drives

All companies have put in place a robust sterilisation routine, where work spaces and common areas are routinely sanitised. 


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