Remote PNS: Indonesian gov’t considering allowing civil servants to work from home 

Indonesian civil servant candidates. Photo: Twitter/@kemenpanrb
Indonesian civil servant candidates. Photo: Twitter/@kemenpanrb

These days, an increasing amount of the global workforce works remotely from an office, often at home. The practice has numerous benefits, including cutting down on office costs and, in many studied cases, increasing productivity.

Now, the Indonesian government appears to want to jump on the work-from-home bandwagon. The Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms (Kemenpan RB) says it’s looking into the possibility of allowing Indonesian civil servants (PNS) to work remotely in the future.

“We are planning for it so they can work from home or from any location. We will figure out the rules,” Kemenpan RB Human Resources Deputy Head Setiawan Wangsaatmaja said during a talk in Jakarta yesterday, as quoted by Kompas.

Setiawan added that many PNS these days, especially new, young recruits, are digitally savvy so allowing them to work remotely could give them added flexibility to do their jobs, and therefore increase their productivity.

According to Setiawan, it’s likely that a massive bureaucratic overhaul for PNS, including the planned remote working policy, will be enforced by 2024.

While flexible working location and hours have become increasingly common in Indonesia, especially for those working for startups, it’s easy to understand why there is huge skepticism that such a policy would work for PNS, considering their reputation for being lazy (a reputation that is regularly justified with stories about large numbers of PNS being late or absent at work).  

Such skepticism was shared by many netizens reacting to the news:

Even when [PNS] work in the office they go to the market and hang out instead, let alone working from home, that would make it easier for them to take care of their families but not serve the public!

The quality of PNS in Indonesia is different to those in Japan/other countries; their professionalism and output are miles apart. So PNS working from home would be difficult to enforce in Indonesia. They work as they please at the office, when there are customers they prioritize chatting with one another over service.

How do you feel about the proposed remote working policy for Indonesia’s civil servants? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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