During this pandemic, only 20 percent of employees in Qatar’s public sector are allowed to work in the office, while the remaining 80 percent are to work from home. Guidelines on how this arrangement should be done is issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs or MADLSA.
What are these guidelines? How will this new employer employee arrangement affect the salary of the employee, if it does? These and more questions will be answered in the following paragraphs for work-from-home employees, or teleworkers.
How Qatar Implements ‘Work from Home’ During this Pandemic
Guidelines for Work from Home Arrangements:
Safety and health are our top priority. We have enabled our teams to work safely from their homes, and are proud of their ability to showcase excellence & commitment whilst supporting our business partners in achieving key milestones.#WorldDayForSafetyAndHealthAtWork pic.twitter.com/6VmAPbW9JQ
— Qatar Free Zones Authority (@QatarZones) April 28, 2020
1. Conditions of employment remain the same for teleworkers.
2. Wages and benefits of employees will stay the same despite teleworking.
3. Accommodation and food provisions will also be the same for teleworkers.
4. An agreement between employees and teleworkers should be met regarding work hours.
5. Number of work hours should be the same for teleworkers and those working as the skeletal force in the offices.
6. Most sectors reduce working time of teleworkers to 6 hours; usually 7 am to 1 pm.
7. If teleworking employee wants to work overtime (working at a reduced 6 hours per day), he can add a maximum of two hours.
8. Teleworkers who still work 8 hours per day can also add two overtime hours but there must be agreed between them and their employers.
We fast this year amid exceptional circumstances that require us to work from home. Let’s seize the opportunity that this holy monthly presents to fully assume our religious and work duties.#Ramadan2020 pic.twitter.com/r2p7TyYYnO
— مركز قطر للتطوير المهني (@QCDCQatar) April 27, 2020
For teleworking to work, the best strategy is to focus on the results that the employees submit at the end of the day. It is impossible to monitor employees throughout the day since they are in the comfort of their homes. So the employer must focus on the outputs.
A proper results-based approach takes a lot of planning before assigning tasks. The employer must first identify the tasks and work objectives that need to be met short term or long term. The employer should also have a system of monitoring the progress of these objectives through effectively communicating with their employees.
The following are some Guidelines on how to implement Results-based Approach:
1. As much as possible, employers should provide the equipment necessary to employees so they can work from home.
2. Companies are also encouraged to provide online tutorials to teleworkers.
3. These tutorials include accessing the company’s intranet, remote access to emails, how to handle confidential files, and more.
4. The safety and physical health of workers should still be considered despite working home.
5. Mental health is also very important and employers should address this. It’s difficult to be isolated at home.
6. Organizing weekly meetings through team video calls can help with making teleworkers less lonely.
Responsibilities of Teleworkers
— Qatar Day- Pulse of Nation (@qatarday) April 25, 2020
1. Teleworkers should keep their contact lines open during work hours.
2. Teleworkers should maintain their productivity and competence.
3. Teleworkers should focus on work during work hours.
4. Leaves like sick leave, annual leave, should still be submitted to supervisors for approval.
5. Teleworkers should identify a place in their home they should assign as their workspace. This ensures that personal space is still separate from work space.
These guidelines show Qatar’s preparedness for this global health crisis. Companies who can implement these arrangements must do so in order to function despite the necessary social distancing efforts.