Remote working in the UAE is a hot subject at the moment and a subject I have a lot of conflicting views around. A recent study from Cisco Global Hybrid claimed that approximately 90% of the UAE workforce were looking for hybrid or fully remote working environments. Now Elon Musk, the world's richest man has offered an ultimatum to his Tesla executive staff stating that they must return to the office or depart from Tesla.
Pre-covid, I very strongly believed that remote working didn’t work. I still have these feelings now, although I will say that in certain aspects of the business, productivity continued to remain high throughout our time working from home whilst navigating the pandemic. However, I must say that I believe the novelty of working from home did soon wear off and a lot of our staff were ready to get back into the office working environment. I believe that remote working has a time limit.
You can’t excel in your job if you work remotely. You need to be around good people to get better and learn. Be in an environment where everyone is working together on the same goal, for the same company. This way you are surrounded by like minded people and you are focused on the task at hand. Collaborations in the workplace are imperative to make a success of your work. Sharing ideas with people who are sat by your side can spark other ideas and insight that you hadn’t previously thought of or necessarily thought you needed.
Relationships in the workplace can slightly suffer as a result of remote working. People are less inclined to ask for help or to come to senior members of staff with new ideas whereas in the office, with everyone all together, this is much more frequent.
Remote working for new members of staff can be a real challenge. I believe that to be a part of a brand and learn how that brand operates you have to fully immerse yourself in its culture. Seeing and speaking to management and heads of departments and to be surrounded by people who are in your shoes, or who have previously been in your shoes and progressed is so important.
For myself, I can’t concentrate for long periods of time at home. Working from home for me is full of distractions with kids, dogs and all the home comforts in my surroundings. I know others in Allsopp & Allsopp have agreed with me and have said it can also be quite a lonely place to be. A loneliness that often can’t be filled completely by a phone call or a video call.
Video calls were great for a time. A time where we were not able to have a meeting face to face. Now we have the option to meet face to face, the number of video calls I conduct are at a minimum. A face to face meeting brings so much more energy and passion than sitting at your dining room table on your own with the TV on mute in the background and your slippers on.
I also strongly believe that having that morning routine before you go to work sets your mind into work mode. A simple thing like getting dressed for the office can put you in the right mindset and motivate you for the day ahead without you even realising.
Working remotely full-time or hybrid working requires a huge amount of discipline. It also requires self motivation in droves. However, a couple of days at home could be productive. Offices can sometimes be filled with spontaneous meetings and questions and tasks that can set you off track and a day working remotely, if possible, can at times, be a saving grace for your to-do list.
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