10 November 2009



By Zulkiple IbrahimKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- Is working from home beneficial or the otherwise for civil servants?That was a question posed by many in the wake of news reports that the Public Works Department planned to initiate a three-month Home Working Programme beginning Jan 1 next year.Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor announced that the programme would involve 35 draughtsmen and the selected individuals will go through a three-month trial period before the government decides whether or not to continue the programme.The programme will cease if productivity does not increase, Shaziman was reported as saying in the news reports.This drew positive response from the umbrella body for Malaysian civil servants, Cuepacs.The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Service welcomed the move and said it would ease congestion at the work place and reduce the burden on government employees in terms of petrol expenses and travel time.It also allows the civil servants to spend more time with their families.Cuepacs president Omar Osman said it was a wise move and has called for the programme to be extended to other ministries and government agencies.A FORM OF THERAPYActually working from home has already existed in the country's civil service for quite some time but without much publicity and the result is very positive.That is a testimony from this writer who is an employee of an agency under the Information Communication and Culture Ministry. He has been enjoying this facility since 2007.This writer is a diabetic and had developed vascular problems in his right leg as a complication of this disease. He has to undergo heamodialysis three times a week due to the failure of his kidneys and he became exhausted after each dialysis session.In 2007, he had his right leg amputated below the knee and this made him difficult to move around. Anyhow he still went to his office to work even on a wheelchair.His superior officers took notice of this problem and used their discretion to allow him some degree of flexibility in terms of working hours. They were understanding and kind enough to allow him to work from home using the Internet as all of his work is computer-based.They even lent him a laptop computer that is linked to his office's network system. Hence it is no surprise that despite the long hours that he needed for his dialysis sessions and other medical treatment, his productivity ever since he began working from home had doubled.By working from home, he is able to sort out his work schedule as he has 24 hours at his disposal instead of the eight-hour working period in the office. This does not take into account the hours spent on time taken to travel and return from the office.GOOD FOR 'DISABLED' CIVIL SERVANTS"Working at home meant a lot for disabled civil servants. If they are tired they can take a rest. They have the opportunity to work even at night or the wee hours of the morning," said social activist Fatimah Mansur.She said working from home would be like a therapy to reduce stress at the work place. Among those who are suitable for this concept are those who have disabilities due to accidents or are suffering from chronic diseases."But you need good information communication technology (ICT) to make this programme a success,", she said.WORKING ALONETo Fatimah Mansur, working from home can be isolating but sometimes isolation when working alone would do more good than harm."Isolation or working alone is good particularly when you have a deadline or a project that requires intense and specific concentration. By working at home, you can have this factor for conducive work environment," she said.She said civil servants who have to take care of their little or sick children can apply to their respective employers to work from home."However not everybody can work from home. This programme is only suitable for those whose work is based on the computers and linked to the Internet as well as the office's computer network".By allowing civil servants to work from home, the government would not lose those who are experts in their respective fields to premature retirement due to chronic diseases and other problems."If the experts in the respective fields are retained, then this definitely ensures efficiency in the public service," Fatimah said.A similar move was initiated in Thailand last year, according to a report in 'The Nation' where the Thai government was looking into the possibility of having civil servants work from home under the 'e-office' concept.PRIVATE SECTORTo medical equipment supplier Robert Lee, working from home is ideal for him."I work from my house hence I do not need to pay for the monthly rental on office space apart from the extra water and electricity bills. I only need a fax line and telephone line apart from one or two computers that have Internet links," said Lee of Bukit Rahman Putra near here.To this writer who is physically handicapped and found difficulty in mobility and locomotion, working from home definitely gives the boost in terms of productivity and he has the ICT facilities in the country to thank for."The beauty of working from home is that you have 24 hours a day and seven days a week to work where you have the flexibility of choosing your own working schedule. Working in the office is very rigid where one has only eight hours to perform and this is a limit to productivity".-- BERNAMA

1 ulasan:

Tanpa Nama berkata...

See what I mean? U people of low intellect (a degree or higher doesn't matter for these category of staffs) cannot comprehend what is written.

Unless it's simple things on dirty words, sex, cheap thrills, fairs, carnivals, bonuses, promotion, allowances and wages, great things such as working at home cannot begin to materialise in your brains as the taboo word of "working" is there and hence you people will shun the article.

You are pathetic piece of low lives you are!