‘Work from home’ system a welcome step

Ali Al Matani  – ali.matani2@gmail.com – The remote working system of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is a laudable step forward in government work. The ministry’s decision to introduce teleworking more extensively after it found a pilot project a big success is definitely welcome.
Introduction of information communication technologies (ICT) shows a measure of innovation and efficiency both in government and private sectors. The efficiency of doing work improves by leaps and bounds when the right technology is deployed.
This approach is the first of its kind in Oman and indeed, in the entire region, as it allows employees to work remotely and electronically from homes and private offices, and get people’s transactions completed even when officials are on leave or on extended official holidays.
This step is considered a revolution in government work. It need to be extended across sectors that deal electronically with people, auditors, and ones in need of such services.
This decision is a huge leap in Oman’s government action path as it is the first to give employees the permission to work from home or remotely.
This decision strengthens the concept of e-governance as it can expedite many services that can be done outside official workplaces.
Teleworking is accepted the world over as an innovative method to increase employee comfort and efficiency. With support from right technologies, telecommuting can enhance productivity and increase worker well-being. This is because the employee can work from the environment he/ she likes most, which has the potential to stimulate intellect and creativity and influence productivity.
This means the worker need not be physically present in the office to be working. It could be home, hotel or other public places like a shopping mall or a park.
The idea is to remove the inconvenience of commuting when traffic is worsening, especially during rush hours. Arriving at the office in extreme stress after near-miss experiences on busy roads is the worst thing that can happen to an employee’s efficiency and innovation.
Telework, on the other hand, enables the employee to right away begin working when he or she is fresh and relaxed. That is one reason why more private organisations are giving employees the option to work from home. Both the organisation and the employee benefit from the increase in work quality.
A wider adoption of the practice will have a marked impact on automobile emission. This would, in the long run, reduce the Sultanate’s carbon footprint. A reduction in the number of trips people make daily will also help save fuel.
Considering the huge benefits, the government must encourage state and private organisations to widely adopt such technologies. The government must be appreciated for being open to new ideas that can improve people’s well-being. It is indeed welcome that the government has been constantly improving the ICT infrastructure across the nation, extending it to even remote areas.
Adopting such a model in more government departments will definitely help improve overall productivity. With so many cars off the road during peak hours, traffic conditions in cities such as Muscat will definitely improve.
Working from home permits employees to work any time without being bounded to a certain number of hours leading to more productivity. This is the actual achievement because productivity is the need of the hour.
Trusting employees to carry out their responsibilities without overt monitoring would lift their spirits as they become their own bosses. This would surely enhance productivity more than spending long hours in an office without achieving much results.
We hope more steps will be taken in this approach in order to affirm and strengthen the pedestal of Omani e-governance.