ABCK Women In Business Focus Group Webinar: Tea & Talk

For immediate release

Thursday, April 23, Kuwait


The American Business Council-AmCham Kuwait’s Women In Business Focus Group organized a webinar titled: Tea & Talk, on Monday, April 20th. Over 80 people tuned into the virtual tea and talk session which focused on the topic of how to manage working remotely effectively and best practices.

The webinar was moderated by Yesim Insel, Director of Catering at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, and presented by panelists Dr. Arezou Harraf, Head of the Department of Business at Box Hill College and CEO of Alerive Inc., and Dr. Juliet Dinkha, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor at AUK.


In her opening remarks, Insel greeted all attendees and introduced the panelists. She then called on Dr. Harraf who began the webinar by giving an overview of the agenda and goal of this session. “Working remotely can add stress to whatever stress you already have from work, and not all employees are as tech-savvy or comfortable using computers. This situation happened suddenly so not many of us were trained how to use online platforms, so not only are we now asked to do it but also asked to be productive doing it. So what we want to do today is take a little light talk and discuss the challenges people are facing nowadays working from home, and share some tips related to productivity and mental health” said Dr. Harraf.


Dr. Harraf then proceeded to highlight in depth some of the challenges faced working from home and their implications on different people. For example, she examined how lack of face-to-face interaction can impact employees on different levels: “supervisors worry that employees will not work as hard or as efficiently and employees struggle with reduced access to managerial support and communication and feel that remote managers are out of touch with their needs, and thereby are neither supportive nor helpful in getting their work done”.


Following that, Dr. Dinkha offered some insight on the implications of working from home from a psychological perspective. She discussed how extrovert employees may suffer from isolation more because they do not have opportunities to connect with others in their remote-work environment and different variables that can increase stress during times such as caring for children, lack of quiet space in the house, lack of access to adequate technology such as internet speed or data availability.


Adding onto that, Dr. Harraf examined the different ways that managers can support remote employees such as providing different technology options and establishing rules of engagement. Dr. Dinkha then underscored some of the ways that managers can offer emotional support to employees such as giving permission for employees to vent or talk about issues they are facing, providing support, and encouraging self care, routine, good sleep and nutrition.


Following that, Insel engaged the panelists in a discussion where she asked them to share some of their personal best practices and daily habits, and insight on how this pandemic will affect the way we work and interact with each other in the future. The panelists then concluded the session by opening up the floor to a Q&A, in which they entertained questions and engaged in lively discussions with the attendees.


ABCK is a non-profit organization comprised of American corporations, small and medium sized companies, and prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, both American and Kuwaiti. Since 1985, the American Business Council of Kuwait Ltd. (ABCK) has acted as an advocate for American companies in the State of Kuwait.