(Photo: iStockphoto.)
(Photo: iStockphoto.)

Opinion | Fear of freedom

Their resistance revives a debate over whether the concept of working from home should be promoted

In the private sector, a work-from-home culture is gaining popularity, thanks to the torturous daily commutes it saves employees and the productivity gains it offers employers. The public sector, though, seems stuck in an old paradigm. At NTPC Ltd, a power producer, 18 senior employees have reportedly been asked to work from home to “optimize manpower". But the employees are feeling uneasy. Their worry? It could distance them from the main work environment and result in their redundancy.

Their resistance revives a debate over whether the concept of working from home should be promoted. In cities, people often spend hours to reach their workplaces. This time could be better used. Also, real estate is expensive; having workers operate from home could save money. Technology has made communication with each other, or with clients, just as easy as face-to-face meetings. So, why endure the pain of travel? True, one could feel cut off, or suffer distractions at home, but the positives outweigh the negatives. Being seen at work may influence perceptions of one’s diligence, but job performance is not a function of hours spent in office.

Close