…one of the consistent messages has been that people who are able to should work from home.
Employers from across the private sector have responded to the call.
It is a move totally in keeping with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s exhortation for people to stay home unless absolutely necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19.
So reports that many public servants who want to do the same as their private sector counterparts are being knocked back or stonewalled by their managers and agencies seems at the very least befuddling.
…workers face intransigence from managers rigidly applying narrow remote work criteria.
… CanberraTimes has been told that even where arrangements are in place to reduce or eliminate physical public interaction by redirecting all inquiries to phone or online services, staff are often still required to come to the office.
Frustrating that this appalling situation is continuing, and a large percentage of federal public servants are based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc.
Of course (as said in the article) working from home can’t be done for many public-facing roles like Centrelink & Medicare offices.
However I don’t get this bit of the article:
This tardiness may be in part due to a desire to have staff on hand for rapid deployment to areas of high demand in the public service.
Why would working at home make it more difficult to tell staff come back into the office (or another office) when needed? Nothing really moves fast in government, and it wouldn’t take an hour to get anywhere in Canberra (even before the COVID-19 reduction in traffic).
(PS: I’m unsure if this fits better here or in the Impact thread.)