Coronavirus Pandemic

Reopening responsibly: Dubai government staff 'happy to be back' as offices return to 100% capacity

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 15, 2020 | Last updated on June 15, 2020 at 06.27 am
Reopening responsibly, coronavirus, covid19, Dubai government staff, offices, return, 100% capacity

(Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times)

Motorists seemed to be exercising caution as many made their way to their workplaces for the first time in almost three months.

Thousands of Dubai government employees headed back to work on Sunday as their offices returned to 100 per cent capacity.

The morning was a bit hazy with the police issuing fog warnings on message display boards. And motorists seemed to be exercising caution as many made their way to their workplaces for the first time in almost three months.

Offices of the Dubai government reopened in phases, from 30 per cent to 50 per cent on May 31, and finally welcoming back 100 per cent of its employees on Sunday.

Khaleej Times caught up with some staff members of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, many of whom were seen rushing back to their office for an early morning meeting.

'Feels good to be back'

Emirati Noura Yousef Al Hashmi expressed her joy on finally returning to her desk, after such a "long period" of working from home.

"It feels really very good to be returning to work after nearly three months. I have been missing my office and my colleagues and I am really looking forward to seeing them," said Al Hashmi.

"It's a different experience to actually come to work as opposed to being at home and working which was also nice but felt different."

Anwar Al Mehairi shared she was moving to a new office location as employers continue to have their staff's safety on the top of their minds.

"I picked up all my belongings from here and I am moving to a new office location. We've been working from home since March 17. Coming back feels like the new normal that we are all trying to adapt to and these are the new ways of living life now. But I am so glad to be back in office today," Al Mehairi said.

'Return to normalcy'

Another government executive, G. Al Mehairi, said he felt optimistic on his first day back.

"It's fantastic to be coming back to our office desks. It feels like life is coming back to normal. Needless to say, we at our offices will be adhering to all social distancing norms. Everyone is wearing masks and gloves and everyone is feeling safe. I am really happy to return here after having worked from home for more than 2 months now," he said.

An expat working for the government sector shared having some mixed feelings. "I am happy to return as it feels like a start somewhere. I know my office is following strict safety protocols. But people may have certain apprehensions lurking in their minds that'll hopefully fade away soon," the Indian national said.

"We are eager to adjust with the new changes at work and everybody is more than happy to cooperate. Physically coming back to work also brings in the much-needed structure that is required and targets can be met quickly while functioning from one's office." 

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