Work from Home

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Since mid-March, most government offices and even some of the private sector have been working from home. It’s not due to an innovative strategy but because we were forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Actually, even before this pandemic, I am a believer and an advocate of a work from home arrangements for government employees especially in agencies where functions are mostly developmental. In other words, the bulk of their work requires them to go out of the office. The private sector has been doing it for years now. The term “work from home” became a buzzword during this crisis and it is going quite well.

Another similar term used is “flexi-place”. It means, you don’t have to report to your office to perform your job. With these various technological innovations in our midst, we can work online in any location within the coverage of our respective jurisdictions and still productive. The term “office” is already evolving and adapting to the changes of the times.

The traditional way of public service is done inside an office building. If you need government service, you go to them. That has been that way for quite a long time. I believe that in this day and age, it should be the other way around. Public service should be brought to our clients. Let the people see and feel the government in person. Unfortunately, in government, it is difficult to change a system that has been well established for centuries.

This system of going to the office, punching your time and complete an 8-hour duty in order to earn your salary is an age-old system since who knows when. It originated during the time of the kings where an ordinary peasant has to bow before the throne to find favor. For so long, government personnel acted like kings sitting on their swivel chairs unaware of the condition of their subjects. We are paid for the time we are reporting for work and not actually what we accomplished. Whether our day is productive or not, we receive our pay as long as you are in your office.

The kind of leadership and management skills demonstrated by Jesus Christ was so revolutionary that it was ahead of its time. No one noticed how He goes around from village to village to show the people the love of God. Let the people feel and experience God. That is what government service should be, bring the government closer to the people.

Under a flexi-place or work from home arrangement, we can experience work-life balance. We can attend to our personal and family needs without compromising our public service delivery. That balance gives us the extra boost and motivation to do your job and enjoy it at the same time. There is less hassle and stress from preparing for work, the traffic, and from the co-workers we can’t get along with. We can be more productive managing our own time than going to the office and wait for dismissal.

I know people will say, you mean we will just close the office and work outside? You see, there are workers whose job is to maintain the office, receive reports, calls and perform other office processes. In fact, the one’s that I mentioned who do fieldwork, should go to the office from time to time. A detailed guideline can answer the missing pieces in this new work arrangement.

All of a sudden, my dream of a work from home arrangement was fulfilled due to COVID-19. Work schedules became flexible except that our movements are limited. Under the new normal, let our government agencies study the possibility of maintaining a work from home arrangement even after a post COVID-19 scenario for some selected offices. I also encourage the co-op sector to look into this work arrangement alternative. We can always revert back to the old ways if the new arrangement won’t work in our office.

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