Reopening responsibly: Dubai office-goers back to work with masks, gloves on  06/03/2020 22:01:00  3  Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Combating, covid19, coronavirus, Dubai office-goers, back to work, masks, gloves on

(Photo by Neeraj Murali/Khaleej Times)

Dubai offices are buzzing again, with the authorities allowing them to operate at 100 per cent capacity from Wednesday. The increase from 50 per cent is part of Dubai's plans to restore normalcy while ensuring residents adhere to all precautionary measures.

Office-goers spent the whole working day with masks and gloves on.

Tunisian expat Younes Yangui, who works for a beauty and personal care company, said the reopening makes people more hopeful about the future. "I was quite confident this morning in office. All precautionary measures like temperature checks, limited use of pantry, wearing masks and gloves and social distancing are in place at my office. We certainly need to be cautious but this start makes everyone more optimistic."

Arijit Sen, an investment banker, expressed joy at finally being able to return to office. "Everyone is taking all necessary precautions now that we have started venturing out. When you work from an actual office, we can achieve targets more rapidly as compared to home offices."

He said posters reminding employees about precautionary measures they need to adhere to have been placed across his office. "Sanitisers have been fixed at entry and exit points. Elevators have indicators which convey that inside the lift people should be standing in such a way that they face different directions."

Not more than 3 in pantry

Deepika Rathish, who works in the healthcare sector, said the maximum allowed number of people in her office pantry is three. "These are new changes we are adapting to. Wearing masks for long hours is a bit uncomfortable, but it has to be done in our own interest. I was finally so happy to see my colleagues. I am also a mother of a toddler, so it was getting difficult to work from home."

Adjustment blues

Latha Sankunni, who works for a freight forwarding company, said it will take some time to adjust the office routine again. "While it's great to meet your colleagues again, the changes are evident in the surroundings. For instance, I am having my lunch at my desk now instead of using the office pantry. All the safety measures in place are very reassuring."

Anthony Basil, who works at an engineering firm in Dubai, said: "I really appreciate how strategically our leaders have worked to ensure a quick and smooth reopening after stringent measures were enforced earlier to contain the spread of Covid-19. This has been possible due to the efficient guidelines laid out by the government. We just now need to be more cautious and responsible."

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