Careem, the Super App for the greater Middle East, is now a Remote-First company. Careem colleagues in 36 offices have the freedom to work from a remote location. The company’s physical offices will remain open and are being re-designed into spaces that facilitate collaboration and team building while also providing flexible workspaces for individual colleagues.
Careem anticipates that permanent remote working will increase productivity, reduce costs, and lead to an even stronger value proposition for talent. In the recent work-from-home arrangements, colleagues reported higher productivity and stronger relationships with peers in other countries - leading to strong business recovery in the last two quarters. The shift will also save real-estate costs as offices get reimagined and optimised for collaboration and flexible working rather than day-to-day. And most importantly for a business that is still growing rapidly, the Remote-First approach will allow Careem to attract and retain top talent globally with a strengthened colleague value proposition.
“As a digital business with operations in more than 100 cities, we always invested in tools and mindsets to effectively collaborate with remote colleagues. When the pandemic hit and our movements were restricted, we were able to seamlessly adapt while continuing to support our customers and partners. As the work from home continued, our colleagues started reporting higher productivity and found they valued the flexibility. That's when we went to the drawing board to challenge our set of beliefs on work and productivity.” Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and Co-Founder of Careem.
He added: “Going Remote-First is deeply aligned with our values of ownership and trust which drove this strategic decision. Fundamentally, we believe Remote-First is better for business and for colleagues. This is the future of work, and just like in other aspects, we would like to inspire our region to embrace it.”
Careem colleagues are now able to work from anywhere they like in the country in which they were hired, and from anywhere in the world for up to 60 days each year. All processes within the business will be designed to facilitate this remote presence. In order to enhance collaboration and continue to build and sustain relationships, colleagues are expected to spend one day per week in the office.
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. Becoming a Remote-First 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."