Egypt is conducting a limited six-month trial of working from home for government employees that could be expanded if successful.
While most employees will be allowed to work entirely from home, they may be asked to come in to their places of work for “administrative, organisational, technical, legal or financial aspects”, the cabinet said as the start of the trial was announced on Wednesday.
Following numerous proposals, the council of ministers decided to form a committee to assess the viability of a work-from-home strategy for government workers, it said.
The trial involves workers at the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology and at the Central Agency for Organisation and Administration.
When the trial period has ended, the results will be presented for the cabinet to decide whether the policy should be adopted across government bodies.
After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government issued a directive in May 2020 that allowed ministries to let employees work from home. The directive ended the following year.
A study published by the International Labour Organisation in 2021 found that only one fifth of government workers said it was viable for them to work from home.
The report, based on a survey of 2,033 Egyptians in public and private-sector jobs, concluded that “wealthier, highly educated and urban-waged workers were more likely to be able to work from home”.
The trial comes as the government gradually moves from Cairo to the New Administrative Capital, 45km east of Cairo.
On Wednesday, the cabinet said 19 government departments would move to the new capital next week, joining 14 already there.
Although other parts of the new city are unfinished, the government district is mostly complete.
The district comprises 10 ministerial complexes with offices for 34 ministries, the cabinet headquarters, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Built on 700 square km of desert, the city will house 6.5 million residents when complete, 50,000 of whom are expected to be government employees.
Source: The National News