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Coronavirus outbreak: Govt officials to soon get 'Work from Home' option

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New Delhi, May 14: With the nationwide lockdown put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, it has restricted several office-goers to the confines of their homes. Now, the Central government is considering to frame "Work from Home" guidelines for its staff even after the lockdown scenario with a draft paper suggesting that employees can be provided the option for 15 days "Work from Home" in a year.

work from home

The draft proposal highlights 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.

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The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) says that it is quite likely that the Central Secretariat would go for "staggered attendance and variable working hours" for the near future to maintain social distancing. "A broad framework for Work from Home is important to standardise 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 said.

The draft also proposes to set up a VPN for the officials at the level of Deputy Secretary and above to access the electronic files remotely on a secured network. Also, all ministries are advised to use the Knowledge Management System of e-office to link all the important documents.

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The department or the ministry will be responsible for creating a help desk to provide technical assistance. The staff, to whom the laptops are provided shall ensure that they do the official work in the official device only. It is reportedly said that the ministries and departments have been asked to respond to the DARPG draft by May 21.

At present, as many as 75 departments are using e-office platform of which 57 departments have achieved more than 80 per cent of their work in e-office.

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