Careem, the region’s multi-service platform, announces its two-month “Officeday” pilot programme, starting in June. After its September 2020 announcement of shifting to a Remote-First company offering, Careem Colleagues in 36 offices had the freedom to work from a remote location. The tech company is now launching a pilot programme asking Colleagues in the UAE to return to the office for one day each week. The UAE was chosen for the pilot following its successful progress in its vaccination program, with over 12 million vaccine shots administered.
Through internal surveys and continuous dialogue, Careem understands that some of its Colleagues want to return to the office in groups to facilitate planning, problem-solving, brainstorming and team building activities. Careem’s Remote-First plan seeks to ensure all team members are able to meaningfully contribute and participate in a way that does not disadvantage them. The company ensures that everyone is able to work productively, no matter where they are located.
“We've always believed that in-person interactions are an integral part of our culture and a powerful lever for collaboration. This is reflected in our Remote-First approach, which included plans for a “Weekly Officeday'' from the start.” Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and Co-Founder of Careem.
Careem will launch a variety of structures to equip the workforce with the tools and skills necessary for higher autonomy. This includes ‘Leadership Training Programmes’ and ‘Remote-First Playbooks’ for teams across the entire organisation to build awareness and skills on leading as well as engaging in a remote world. Leaders will be trained on developing culture and social activities, building meaningful connections and running social activities virtually.
“The idea is for us to test assumptions about what work is best done together in-person, and further develop our tools and approaches for successfully involving distributed Colleagues in other locations in this work. We'll gather learnings from this pilot and iterate on our Remote-First ways of working to drive productivity, effective collaboration and strengthen the Careem culture.” Sheikha adds.
As the COVID-19 pandemic drives profound social changes, Careem and other organisations in the region have the opportunity to rethink the future of work and use that as an additional means to leapfrog. Being an agile organisation allows Careem to benefit from accelerated digital adoption to drive strong productivity gains and attract a global talent pool that is aligned with its purpose of simplifying lives and building an awesome organisation that inspires.