Government offices work on shifts to avoid disruption

March 24, 2020

Government offices in the city are implementing a plan so that there is no disruption in their work during the coronavirus crisis.

Each ministry has divided employees to either work from home or on shift basis to tide over the crisis.

To begin with, the Ministry of Manpower, with over thousands of employees, has decided to bifurcate its employees into those who will work from home and those whose presence is important in the office.

“Since social distancing is an essential ingredient to stop the spread of coronavirus, we have decided to allow certain individuals to work from home,” said an official with Ministry of Manpower.

“For example, those dealing with social media or designers, etc can work from home till further announcement. But I need to come to office and my department has more than six staff. To stick to the idea of distancing ourselves, we have decided to work on shifts. I go to work for two days and the other guy in my department works from home those days. Then it happens vice versa,” he added.

“Today I am off and my two colleagues in my department are in office. I will go to work after two days. We cannot stop work, else the economy will face a shutdown. Work must continue and the coronavirus cases must disappear. That is why we have decided to work on shift basis. So, I and my colleagues are working on a two-day shift basis,” an official with the Ministry of Housing said.

Echoing the same, an official with the Ministry of Tourism said, “That’s the option left for us. Some work of the ministry that can happen online and people involved with them are working from home. Those that need to come are taking turns of two- or three-day basis and coming to work. The whole idea is work should not suffer at all.”

Muscat Municipality which has hundreds of employees too is managing day-to-day errands from home or online or work in shifts.

“The arrangement is different for different departments. All cannot come to work together, else the purpose behind social distancing will not materialise and the virus will spread. Nowadays, it is no more related to travel history. Anyone can get it. Some shifts are of two-day interval, some for a week and so on. All depending on the type of work. It is true for all offices now,” said an official.

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