In a short space of time, remote working has become the 'norm' for many organisations, after previously only being adopted by a select few industries and organisations.
First, it was out of necessity due to the pandemic, whereas now an increasing number of businesses are choosing to let employees work away from the office.
Remote working has many benefits, such as increased flexibility for both the employer and the employee, plus currently, it's the best way to stay safe in our Covid-affected world.
However, this new way of working poses its challenges; many businesses and individuals need time to adapt. And even now, several months after many employers rolled out remote working, some challenges still need to be solved.
One of these is organisational and team culture – the unique and valuable relationships that help bond businesses and teams together.
Today, we look at why remote working culture is such a hot topic in the UAE tech world, and how employers can promote their unique culture in our socially distanced world.
UAE World Leaders in Remote Working
Thanks to its advantageous geographical position, plus excellent job opportunities and growing industries, the UAE has been recognised as one of the best places for remote working in the world. The country's technologically advanced infrastructure plus the readily available Wi-Fi in most areas makes it a top choice for working remotely.
Overseas workers have been encouraged to continue to work in Dubai with the new 'one-year virtual working programme' which allows remote workers and their families to stay in the country for up to a year following the Covid-19 disruptions.
This, coupled with the fact that overseas workers pay no income tax, is a massive pull for talented employees to come and work in the area, while other countries have struggled to attract and retain talent in the same way.
Homeworking has been encouraged by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation since 2017, but it has taken off in a big way since the start of the pandemic. While travel increases the chance of catching the virus, staying at home to work is the smart thing to do.
But how is remote working affecting the nature of how we work and our working relationships – is remote working damaging your team culture?
The Remote Working Risk to Culture
In Dubai, in particular, remote working has never been more prevalent. A recent Lexology article states "For public sector employees within the Emirate, the Dubai government has recently introduced several innovative measures including a flexible working system across all government departments and a "work from home" policy to support female employees where their children are undertaking distance learning."
What is this significant change to our working habits doing to working culture?
Once, colleagues would organically interact with each other, strengthening bonds and promoting collaboration, now they are working for the most part in solitary roles. While technology such as Zoom is great at aiding remote collaboration – is it a replacement for the real thing?
Most leaders agree that nothing can replicate the energy and the buzz of a real working team and environment, which is key in payment technology and cutting edge banking tech organisations.
It may be possible for individuals to adjust to remote working. Still, for the most part, company culture thrives off employees being physically near to each other, to interact and collaborate. And this is something that we now need to be able to replicate virtually.
How to Maintain Excellent Culture – Remotely
So, let's look at some of the best ways you as an employer of a socially distant tech team can promote the company culture you want.
1. Share Your Company Values
Shockingly, so many companies fail to identify and share their company values with their team regularly.
As payment tech companies are evolving rapidly, there is often a lot for employees to take on board, but having a clear message about your mission and vision allows the team to understand their purpose and how their role fits into the bigger picture – this is essential when employees are isolated or working remotely.
2. Encourage a Communication Schedule
It can be easy for remote employees to fall out of regular communication with their colleagues, as the solitary nature of remote working can mean individuals get 'in the zone' and forget to check in with the rest of the team.
However, mandatory Zoom meetings that don't apply to everyone can also be a waste of time. Encourage employees to regularly check in with those in their immediate team, perhaps every other day, or whatever works for your team. Having this regular connection will allow the team's camaraderie to be nurtured even when employees are physically distant.
3. Have Regular One-to-Ones with Your Team
Again, this isn't something that needs to happen every day, but once a week is a good time-frame to check with your team how their remote role is going, air any problems they might be having, and check-in with them how they are doing in general.
Employers who look after their team's wellbeing have happier and more productive, successful teams than those who don't; it's a win-win.
Remote Employees and Your Organisation
The success of remote working over the past year hints that it could be here to stay for many roles.
If you are looking to expand your banking or payment tech team with remote employees this year, Flow Financial & Technology
We work with 1000's of the best tech talent in the UAE and globally, to find you the exact talent you need for your vacancies or upcoming roles. Get in touch with our team today on +971 (0)4 564 6255 or talk to our team here
about your remote recruitment this year.
The Middle East is a dynamic and growing market where identifying top talent and world-class professionals for the financial services and technology industry is highly competitive. Flow
provides an executive search service led by industry experts, geared to any level of role within the Financial Services and Technology Industries. This service is driven by innovative, established and proven research teams who customise each requirement from our clients.
Importantly at Flow, we meet with all our candidates face to face to gain an understanding of their requirements, ensuring we guide them in finding their ideal role.
To find out more get in contact
with one of our team today.