Indonesia plans a Work From Anywhere framework for government employees

As Work From Home arrangements have been widely adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia may go further with a Work From Anywhere policy for its government employees.

Meeting for the Work From Home arrangement for government employees after Lebaran holidays
Minister of State Apparatus Utilization and Bureaucratic Reform, Tjahjo Kumolo overseeing the Work From Home arrangement for government employees after Lebaran holidays

The government of Indonesia plans to implement a more flexible working system for civil servants by allowing them to work anywhere in the future.

The new framework is being worked on across ministries and government agencies to adopt this Work From Anywhere policy. It is not said whether Indonesian public sector employees would even be allowed to work from abroad.

Unlike other working arrangements, WFA doesn’t require working from a specific place, like home, or with mandatory office hours. However, it would not be available for civil servants whose work requires being in direct contact with the public. Moreover, medical staff or firefighters for example would not be able to work anywhere.

As the pandemic changed working habits with an increase in work from home arrangements, some companies went further by allowing their employees to work anywhere. A notable example was Airbnb which announced the change in April. But at least a dozen companies in Indonesia, mostly start-ups, have already adopted this WFA method at least partially.

eFishery, an aquaculture tech startup that recently raised $90 million, last October moved to Work From Anywhere permanently after it noticed an increase in productivity and quoted a Microsoft survey showing job seekers in Indonesia were more willing to work remotely (83%) than the global average (73%).

In Italy, trade unions and employers’ federations agreed with the ministry of Labor in December to adopt an agile work scheme, with an absence of precise working hours, which is very similar to WFA. But public sector employees are forbidden to use their personal Internet network and need to use the one provided by the government.

For Satya Pratama, the head of public relations of the national civil service agency of Indonesia, such a change aims at improving performance and job satisfaction. “The important thing is that performance goals and targets are met,” he told Kompas.

The plan also comes after Indonesia announced in January the creation of a new capital city: Nusantara. Government office buildings are expected to be built from scratch over the next 10 years in the jungle of Borneo. As such, a WFA will most likely impact the new administration buildings as it requires less space for employees coming to the office and lead to financial savings.

During this week, civil servants have been allowed to work from home to reduce traffic jams as many Indonesians returned to work after their time off taken for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha holidays, called Lebaran in the country.

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