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Remote Learning and Work in the UAE During COVID-19 Essay (Article)

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Updated: Feb 12th, 2022

In the face of what is quickly becoming the global CoronaVirus (COVID-19) health crisis, the UAE Government has been a reassuring presence to many; ensuring that the country’s economy is impacted as little as possible and that even with the newly implemented remote-working policy, that professionals have their working and learning needs met as well. I have experienced this first-hand, being part of the country’s workforce that has been mandated to work remotely during the period of quarantine and social distancing that has been recommended by the state in a bid to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

It all started in the November-December period of 2019 when the very first cases of infection of a new strain of the Coronavirus were reported in China. At the time, I was going about my routine work duties and obligations, like most of the world, completely unaware of the impact that this virus would soon have on our world. The virus was thereafter named the SARS-CoV-2, with the resultant illness widely identified as COVID-19. What followed was a health and economic nightmare, as infection rates skyrocketed worldwide, quarantines were quickly implemented in many countries, and global leaders were strategizing on how to minimize the effect of the would-be pandemic on their populations and their economies.

The UAE, under Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Monarch of the Emirate of Dubai was no different. Given the infectious nature of the disease, the government quickly implemented preventative and precautionary measures to the country’s workforce. I remember attending several briefings, called by our managerial teams on the COVID-19 crisis and how office etiquette and interactions had to change.

Alcohol-based sanitizers and handwash were distributed in strategic places throughout the office, the frequency of disinfection cleaning increased dramatically, and I would pass a few people wearing masks on my way to and from my workplace. The UAE cabinet then formed a committee aimed at handling the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the national economy, which would have been reasonably expected, given the adverse impact of the disease on the working and investing population.

Eventually, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued a directive that no more than 30% of a private company’s workforce should physically report to offices. This effectively led to much of the country’s workforce, myself included, having to readjust to working and learning right from our homes.

I am particularly thankful for this remote-working directive, which shows the lengths to which the UAE government is willing to go to protect its workforce, and its population in general. It has, however, changed a lot of how organizations work. For many of us, starting March 29th, 2020, remote working has become our new reality, and organizational leaders and managers are dedicated to ensuring that the transition is smooth and supported by good work practices. I firmly believe that this is an effective course of action. Furthermore, I am willing to wholly develop and maintain a regular work routine and embrace the flexibility that comes with working from home, with my family and loved ones. If this is done, it may be enough to implement the remote-working system successfully.

The infrastructure that is being implemented by both private organizations and the government to support the remote-working system has also provided an opportunity for professionals to learn. There is an increased uptake of technology-adoption programs, as well as managerial classes. As a result, there is a lot of professional development currently ongoing, as members of the workforce are picking up new and innovative skills in modern technology. Of course, the government has shown its willingness to implement the smooth transition of the country’s workforce to a remote-working setting. This has been shown with the remote-working system being adopted with the support and coordination from the competent National Emergency, Crisis, and Disaster Management Authority.

I do believe that this would highly contribute to breaking the virus’ transmission chains, which is the entire logic behind transitioning into a remote-working system. Interpersonal contact is being kept to a bare minimum, and therefore the opportunity to spread is severely limited. The Economics committee will also be regularly monitoring the negative impacts of the implementation of remote-working, and giving suggestions on how to stimulate the economy and mitigate the adverse effects to the government. While this may be one of the most devastating pandemics in the modern age, We, as a people, are capable of so much, and as a nation, we will undoubtedly persevere through this crisis.

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IvyPanda. (2022, February 12). Remote Learning and Work in the UAE During COVID-19. https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-learning-and-work-in-the-uae-during-covid-19/

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"Remote Learning and Work in the UAE During COVID-19." IvyPanda, 12 Feb. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/remote-learning-and-work-in-the-uae-during-covid-19/.

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IvyPanda. "Remote Learning and Work in the UAE During COVID-19." February 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-learning-and-work-in-the-uae-during-covid-19/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Remote Learning and Work in the UAE During COVID-19." February 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/remote-learning-and-work-in-the-uae-during-covid-19/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Remote Learning and Work in the UAE During COVID-19'. 12 February.

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