Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has announced the introduction of the "Distance Work" program at its membership services department that allows employees to complete their tasks through the "flexible duty hours " system without the need to attend the workplace.
Mariam Al Shamsi, Director General Assistant for the Support Services Sector, said that the launch of the distance work system is part of the Chamber's commitment to the vision of the UAE in general and the Sharjah emirate’s in particular to move towards smart and sustainable services and improve government services, enhance Sharjah’s economy and its contribution to the status of the UAE as a major player in global trade by providing an exemplary work environment, modern services and sophisticated initiatives to serve different sectors of the economy, in line with the directives of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to adopt the latest systems, programs and administrative and technological solutions that ensure the improvement of government services in accordance with the highest standards of institutional excellence.
Al Shamsi pointed out that the adoption of the remote work system at the Chamber came after a careful study of the best practices in this field; experience has shown that remote work has many advantages, most notably transcending time and space barriers, saving transportation costs and time, avoiding pressure, reducing dispersion and focusing on health, safety and fitness. Al Shamsi pointed out that this system is not without disadvantages that can be mitigated, notably isolation and lack of social interaction, difficulty of concentration, separation between home and work, lack of competitiveness and the need for greater discipline and motivation. But the Chamber will ensure that employees' productivity is monitored and enhanced by measuring performance on a results basis to achieve career objectives at the highest levels of professionalism, enhance the effectiveness of services and the sustainability of operations.
Saif Abdallah Al Matroushi, Director of the Membership Services Department, said that the implementation of the distance work program aims to support flexible work methods and has positively influenced employees’ performance and customers' happiness, in addition to its role in increasing productivity, facilitating procedures and simplifying them for clients with added value which will positively impact the business community.
Al-Matroushi said that remote working requires working outside the traditional work place by means of communication and information technology and pointed the contractual relationship with the "remote" worker that is subject to the provisions of the work system. Appointment through a contract stating explicitly that working for the employer is done remotely and specifies the place or places where work can be performed, job duties, job description, number of working hours, start and end times, amount of remuneration, all rights and allowances in addition to any other entitlements stipulated by the internal rules and regulations adopted by the Chamber.
Al Matroushi added that staff appointment according to the mechanism remote work includes the Chamber’s commitment to ensure public safety at the workplace when determining the location or workplaces remotely to maintain the safety of the employee, and does not require that duty hours for remote work be the same as working hours at the work place and can be determined according to the circumstances, the nature and need, taking into consideration the provisions of the general law as well as internal procedure. Staff have to be selected by the Chamber and with the consent of the line manager, while the remote employee is subject to all provisions, duties and rights related to salary and social security.
The remote work program brings together the employer with the employee through an electronic work environment through which the functions are performed without the need to attend the workplace. The remote work program contributes to bridging the gap that prevents many people from finding suitable jobs as it helps two main categories of national cadres to join the labor market, women and people of determination, by offering flexible employment opportunities that mitigate difficulties of transportation and the need for some women to take care of children while working.