With the nationwide lockdown restricting most office-goers to the confines of their homes, the Central government is now considering to frame ‘Work from Home’ guidelines for its staff even in a post lockdown scenario, with a draft paper suggesting that employees can be provided with the option for 15 days in a year.
Pitched by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), the draft proposal revolves around moving files to e-office, video conferences to discuss important affairs as well as providing logistic support to the staff by providing laptops on a rotational basis.
In its draft, the department says that it is quite likely that the Central Secretariat will go for “staggered attendance and variable working hours” for the near future to maintain social distancing at the workplace. “Therefore, a broad framework for Work from Home is important to standardize the operating procedure even post Lockdown situation and to ensure safety and security of information, while accessing Government files and information remotely from home,” the draft says.
The draft proposes setting up a VPN for the officers at the level of Deputy Secretary and above to access the electronic files remotely on a secured network no classified information shall be handled through e-office. All ministries have been advised to use the Knowledge Management System of e-office to link all the important documents. Any expenses related to data usage may be reimbursed.
The ministry or department is responsible for creating a help desk to provide technical assistance. The officers to whom official laptops are provided shall ensure that they do the official work in the official device only. Ministries and departments have been asked to respond to the DARPG draft by May 21.