Careem is going remote-first, giving its employees across 36 offices around the Middle East and North Africa the option to work from home on a permanent basis, the company said. We’ve seen many technology companies in Silicon Valley extend their work-from-home policies until the end of 2021. Others, including Twitter, announced it as a permanent option.
But that has not been the case in the MENA region. With this decision, Dubai-headquartered Careem has become one of the first big tech players of the region to introduce work-from-home as a permanent option for its workforce.
“We believe it is the future of work that is good for business and more flexible for colleagues. Moreover, it is deeply aligned with our cultural values of ownership and trust,” said Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and CEO of Careem, announcing the decision in a tweet.
Mudassir and Careem’s director of talent, Ella Fordham, shared details about the decision in a LinkedIn Live session on Thursday afternoon.
The employees have been given the option to work from home, which means they could still choose to head into to office if they wish to. Careem will continue to keep its offices as they will be repurposed as collaboration spaces, said Fordham. She also said that remote arrangements are now the default way of working at Careem.
The company introduced work-from-home arrangements for its employees during the pandemic. Careem CEO said that only 10% of its colleagues had expressed interest in coming back to the office.
Even though Careem is introducing the option to work from home, it doesn’t mean that an employee who works at Careem UAE will be able to move to Egypt, Pakistan, or any other country and work from there.
Answering a question, Fordham explained that every employee will get 60 calendar days every year to work from anywhere in the world. But for the rest of the year, they will have to be in their contracted country. MENAbytes is in the process of confirming whether that means Careem’s employees are free to work from anywhere in their contracted country through most of the year.
She also said that the company will not be introducing any new allowance for people to work from home, but might repurpose the travel allowance it currently offers to its employees for this.
This article first appeared in MENAbytes.