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DAFZA prepares for future following successful roll out of remote working

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 6 May 2020: Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has launched a set of initiatives for its employees during the remote working period aimed at ensuring the continuity of business operations and enabling co-workers to effectively communicate, collaborate and share their achievements during this period.

As part of the ongoing initiatives, the People Management Department at the free zone has launched a ‘Virtual DAFZA Staff Forum’. The weekly forum provides a space for employees to discuss their experiences and recommendations and paves the way for attendees to share achievements, ideas and moments. The forum comes as part of DAFZA efforts to instill a sense of community amongst the staff, whilst preserving normality and positivity in everyday life.

In an effort to keep employee satisfaction high and acknowledge outstanding staff, DAFZA sustained implementing the grading system to evaluate employees and department heads during this period. The internal technological infrastructure in place has allowed DAFZA to communicate its appreciation towards its employees, creating a working environment where individuals are more conducive to productivity and uphold commitments to attain to the needs of DAFZA’s customers and foreign companies.

DAFZA has strengthened its ongoing commitment to developing the capabilities and skills of its employees remotely by activating a digital educational platform that allows staff to join various training courses and sessions. The platform aims to foster the professional development of employees as they continue on their journey of career development. Employees will also have access to sessions that range across a wide array of topics, allowing them to broaden their knowledge base and undertake news skills as they work from home.

Yousuf Behzad, Assistant Director General of People Growth and Strategy at DAFZA, said: “Human development and happiness of employees have always been at the core of our operations. Now more than ever, taking actions to support the well-being of our employees is one of the top priorities of the free zone as individuals and institutions are mitigating and adapting to the current circumstances. Emotional management and community support is also vital for business operations and ensures a level of normality in attaining our objectives whilst working remotely.”

“Our initiatives aim to boost morale and provide support to our employees whilst they maintain social distancing, keeping spirits positive. This in turn drives the performance of all departments and the level of services, which our customers expect. We are currently finalizing a recovery plan for the return of employees to prepare them for the post-Coronavirus phase,” he added.

Ibrahim Al Banna, Senior Director, People Management, DAFZA, said, “The digital infrastructure at DAFZA has allowed us to transform our operations and follow the progress of the human development process virtually and effectively. We are in the process of reviewing our internal processes and procedures based on the lessons learned from this experience and how we expect it to evolve in the future. We are also in constant contact with employees to hear their suggestions and survey their satisfaction and happiness levels during remote working. This will support their physiological and mental wellbeing during this period of social distancing and lack of direct human interaction in the work environment.”

A survey conducted by DAFZA with its employees studied their views on the remote working system and its effectiveness. The results showed that the people working remotely experience index was more than 85%. This included high results for communication effectiveness, the availability of resources and necessary tools, and the level of productivity. The people happiness index also grew during the first quarter of this year reaching 81%.

DAFZA has increased its measures aimed at combating COVID-19 by encouraging its employees to pursue remote working to preserve their health and wellbeing, in addition to social distancing and precautionary measures during their office time. The free zone also continues to sterilize its facilities, provides thermal examination for DAFZA visitors regularly and has been fully implementing remote working procedures since the decision was made by the visionary leadership of the country back in March. Other measures taken by DAFZA include moving all services to an online portal, to ensure ease and access to all companies and customers.

A committee for emergency and crises has been formed at DAFZA and is working around the clock to monitor and follow up the operations of the free zone during this difficult period. The committee’s role is to ensure also that all instructions and directives issued by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and other authorities are applied in the free zone. The free zone has implemented a 100% remote work system within the authority’s buildings based on electronic and smart applications and advanced technical infrastructure that the country and the free zone provides. The free zone urged its companies to implement the same system in order to preserve the health of their employees and their vital business community.

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