Work from Home Tips for SMEs in the UAE

Work from home tips for SMEs in the UAE

By Alaina Concepcion, Chief Operating Officer, My Business Consulting DMCC

My Business Consulting DMCC has experienced multiple legal changes from local authorities, banks, and international laws in the past, but never could we have imagined such a disaster as the Covid-19 Pandemic. It has affected businesses, lives, and business life around the world, and our company was not safe from it either.

Whilst this is the biggest disruptive situation, to phrase it professionally, for all businesses, we can proudly announce that our company did not find it all that hard to adjust quickly to this situation, although affected as well. When the UAE Government announced a 24-hour self-isolation program for 21 days, there were, in fact, several positive effects of working from home, beyond the comfort of our pajamas, on the productivity of the team such as:

  • Our team members could focus on work without much distraction

  • We could expand our knowledge by dedicating more time on studying and raising our level of expertise

  • Working from home secures our team and when this challenging time is over everyone will come back to work healthy

Many partnering businesses were puzzled as to how we managed to switch from 100% in-house operations to the present 100% work at home productivity, especially as we were amongst on the first service companies to follow this self-isolation program in Dubai. We would like to share tips to help others increase their own companies’ efficiency during these hard times:

1. Strategic Planning

The management of our company is extremely up to date, we followed the news religiously, in regards to what is realistic, i.e not listening to all those forward messages, going on locally and internationally since the outbreak started, hence, at the earliest, the management has set-up a full Covid-19 Action Plan depending on which situation might arise. The plan involved:

  • Phase 1 – Building safe workspace

  • Phase 2 – Isolation of 70% of employees

  • Phase 3 – Complete lock-down (work from home)

While establishing each phase, there are 3 main points we have considered to ensure that the operations of the company will never be paralyzed:

  • Employee Reporting & Progress of Clients Request and Services

    My Business Consulting DMCC prides itself in owning a PMS Software which not only keeps the full databases (tracks and monitors basically) of employee’s activities, tasks, actions, time in and out, with a daily personalized report generated and sent automatically to direct managers who then evaluate daily work inputs. This software can be accessed by the employees via their laptops, from the comfort of their own homes.

  • Database and Shared Folder

    Our company has a very strong server which is shared by 3 offices of My Business Consulting DMCC, the challenge was to make it accessible to employees while working from home, which was solved by IT’s within 2 days, those guys are the faces of the future I tell you. All employees can now access our full database while working from home. To ensure the safety of all client’s documents, all employees have signed confidentiality and policy agreements.

  • Telephone System

    We have 3 offices with 4 operating telephones, with the divert option provided by our telephone providers, the 4 phones were diverted to key personnel accordingly. Basically, we got you covered.

  • Original Documents

    Even with high technology, physical documents are still present because we never lose our humble start. And because they are still mandatory for some services, all of our client’s physical documents are safely kept in our office under the supervision of our database controller. When original documents are requested, we can arrange a courier accordingly.

2. Procedures & Training

After a well thought strategic planning on the flow of vital operation points, a clear procedure on how things will move while working from home was established. It is important for everyone in the team to understand what to follow to enable everyone to experience a smooth continued functioning flow of operations under one common platform.

In establishing the procedure, it is important to communicate with authorities on a daily basis regarding their remote working procedures and changes of policies (basically a fair number of new rules to learn); to ensure everyone in the company and our clients will be updated at all times

Whilst working from home, each employee is given a chance to join various online training as well. It is important to add knowledge on a daily basis rather than being stagnant on workflow only, after all, knowledge to be increased, is work to be enjoyed more. Our HR sends training opportunities where everyone is given a chance to join.

3. Communication & Team Work

The most vital component to have a successful Work from Home life is communication and teamwork, now more than ever. In our company, we have 5 different departments – Sales, Marketing, Operations, Human Resource, and Finance Department and though remote work can seem to be, and actually is to some extent, hard to organize within a growing company, for us it was not an issue as in fact we mastered the art of working as a team because all of us knows that if the team wins, all of us wins. And we like to continue to be winners.

Apart from the emailing which is traditionally being used, our main communication channel is WhatsApp where we have various groups for different topics. We also constantly share the latest local and international news as well as the latest changes in the procedures and policies of authorities.

The management has also established an Online Staff Meeting through application. Our staff meeting occurs every Sunday, every week to enable all of us to discuss the latest information and talk about what is going on and how we can move forward. Everyone is also given a chance to provide their suggestion for a more efficient workflow and a greater sense of community.

All members of the team send encouraging, uplifting messages or a quote of the day. An example is: “Train your mind to see good in everything. Positivity is a choice. The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”

Indeed, with the leadership of our CEO, Ms. Keren Jadhav, we have established a culture of positivity and resilience regardless of what situation arises. My Business Consulting DMCC has many strengths and being positive is the strongest of all, not just in developing a good business but a good team as well.

It is undeniably a challenging time, however, if everyone in organizations remains united and resolute, each organization will overcome the situation with immense success and the great pride of achievement (this I can vouch for). The management, employees, and the company in general, regardless of the size, must remain united, wise, and ready for action.

My Business Consulting DMCC assures all clients in the UAE and around the world that the excellent services they have experienced in the past will remain constant, or better in the present and the future.

We hope our simple and realistic approach will help other organizations in striving for success during this hard time, as we have managed. As a contribution to the business society, our company volunteers to provide a management consultation to those companies who are in great need of advisory support for free. You may call us directly at +971 55 554 7007.

Together we are stronger! Together we are better! Together we will overcome this!