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Thursday, 24 September 2020

More of Egypt’s private sector is implementing a hybrid work policy

SURVEY- More of Egypt’s private sector is implementing a hybrid work policy — but most don’t have a concrete expectation of when that could change again. We surveyed EGX-listed companies, multinationals, and small businesses to gauge how their work from home policies have shifted over the past few months. We also wanted to get a feel for whether these policies could change again in the coming weeks and months with the potential of a second wave of covid-19.

Over the past two months, most have begun shifting to more days spent at the office. In our last survey in June, the majority of those we spoke with were still relying as much as possible on remote work. Now, most businesses are either ramping up the number of employees allowed at the office — or having all staff spend more days together in the workplace.

Of the 12 companies we surveyed, only three said they are not requiring their employees to work from the office. Some who have a hybrid work policy in place to give their employees the option of working from the office if they want. Procter & Gamble recommends that their employees remain at home, but has now opened the office for whoever wants to go in. Nestlé says its offices have reopened in the past few days and a schedule has been put in place for a rotation. The schedule doesn’t require employees to go in, but is meant to prevent too many employees from opting to go to the office at the same time. Meanwhile, data analytics startup Arqam has set two days a week for its team to work from the office but also says these days are optional.

As lockdown measures have eased, workplace capacity limits are also up: One of the country’s largest banks (which spoke on condition it not be named) has slightly increased the percentage of employees at its offices, but still has limites on footfall at branches and the number of branch staff who need to show up each day; those measures are unchanged from July. At UNDP, senior staff members are now on a two-week rotation schedule, while the rest of the staff are called into the office on an as-needed basis.

For others with a hybrid system, staff have no option but to be at their desks on in-office days. This is the case for boutique business development firm Ahead of the Curve, whose employees are now at their desks in the office three days per week.

A handful of businesses have made a complete return to the office mandatory for its employees. Among them: Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Development, where its relatively small team now works at full capacity from their office five days a week; Rameda Pharma, where its entire team returned to the office last month; and Al Tamimi & Co., which said earlier this month it is also back to working from the office at full capacity.

The outlook on whether businesses will have to change these policies again is largely unclear. Nestlé, EFG Hermes, and P&G said they are largely in “wait and see” mode and don’t yet have a plan for a potential second wave of cases or what that would mean for their work policies. They do, however, review their policies on a regular basis to adjust them as the situation unfolds.

INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT- Wall Street is also trickling back to the office, the New York Times reports in Dust off desks and boot up terminals, writing that the transition back to the office has been “shambolic” for the financial industry.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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