Remote working is possible
As published in : industry/technology/watch-digitalks-on-the-uaes-readiness-for-remote-working
By Giorgia Guantario
The first DigiTalks edition was published by Tahawultech’s editorial staff Mark Forker, Giorgia Guantario, and Tatiana Labaki (Senior Manager – Revenue & Analytics), respectively. They discussed their experiences with remote working.

The COVID-19 epidemic has had severe consequences for all industries. While many businesses were forced to close temporarily by the UAE government, many others have had the luxury of remote working in order to continue their operations.
It is important to know how to equip employees to meet this need.
Avaya, Google, and Microsoft are offering some of their solutions free of charge for the moment, but the current emergency situation raises questions about “Is remote work the future of work here in the UAE?”
Modern workplaces are using new technologies to increase productivity and streamline processes. It’s not surprising that the same technology can also help organisations transform the way they work together.’s DigiTalks 1 focused on UAE’s readiness to remote work and discussed the challenges faced by enterprises as they move to a virtual workplace.
The conversation also addressed the challenges faced by telecom operators in keeping us all “connected” as the demands on networks have increased exponentially since the emergence of COVID-19.
We started by asking Dr Ozkaya & Labaki how COVID-19 affects their day-today operations as they adapt to working remotely.
Dr Ozkaya, the Head of Information & Cybersecurity for Standard Chartered, praised Standard Chartered’s robust business continuity plan as it helped make their transition smooth. He believes that the world isn’t ready to transition to a completely virtual workplace as we’ve seen with many of the issues that arise with our technology.
He stated, “We always talk digitalisation, but i think this is an early wake up call for humanity, where it is necessary to consider our readiness for remote work.” We must think about how we can move to the next stage without compromising.
Labaki stated that she has more flexibility than her colleagues because of the flexibility of her job. This is counter-intuitive.
She stated, “Not everyone in company is allowed to work from home. I believe that we must show solidarity in times of crisis.” Although I can work from home, it was counterintuitive to allow certain people to do so, just because their roles wouldn’t permit it.
Both acknowledged that remote working is the only option due to the current crisis, but also acknowledged that they have more resources than SME’s to adapt to it.
Tahawultech’s DigiTalks continues by asking whether the current situation will lead to cultural paradigm shifts in relation to remote working in the UAE.
Employees who can work as efficiently from home will be more flexible and less dependent on the office.
Dr Ozkaya stated that modern technology has allowed him to conduct multiple meetings on different continents in six days. However, he acknowledged that some jobs are impossible to do remotely.
Labaki stated that Emaar’s culture of boring meetings has been eliminated by the shift to remote work, but acknowledged that working remotely can cause some teams to be less efficient.
She continued, “Thi!”