NTPC employees queasy as power PSU introduces work-from-home on limited basis

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on August 28, 2019

There’s suspicion that the move is a precursor to privatisation

PSU power company NTPC has introduced work-from-home for the first time in its history. In the initial phase, only 18 officer grade employees across 10 cities have been directed to work from home.

The initiative, ostensibly introduced to optimise the manpower of the Commercial Department and Inspection Offices, has not gone down well in the company. It has created an immense sense of unease among the employees.

Senior company officials said such suo motu action by the management is being viewed with suspicion by the employees, who are worried the management decision could open the floodgates of privatisation.

Demotivating staff

Out of 18 employees ordered to work from home, 11 are General Manager grade. The reasoning behind such an unprecedented move is being questioned. It could also demotivate the employees, leading to unease in the middle tier of the company, the officials said.

They further said work-from-home will bring down the cost of maintaining office infrastructure for NTPC. The employees who have been asked to operate from home could see it as an effort to sideline them from the main work environment of the company, it is feared.

Use of technology

The company, in an email statement to BusinessLine, said these optimisations have become possible due to the extensive use of IT in the company’s processes and functions. Though the exercise has not been undertaken with the prime objective of cost-cutting, there would definitely be savings on account of reduction in operating expenses of the offices, it added.

There is no question of demotivation of employees; rather, this concept would help such employees to have a healthy work-life balance, the statement said. They would not be bound to fixed working hours but rather have the freedom to schedule their work, it added.

NTPC does not have an officers’ union but has an officers’ association under the umbrella of NTPC Executive Federation of India (NEFI). The office-bearers of NEFI were not available for comment.

Published on August 26, 2019

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