The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 7 , 2012
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Back to class for shirk brigade
Writers’ lessons in work culture

The state government is poised to take its boldest step yet — urge its employees to work!

Counselling sessions rolling out the do and don’t at the workplace are being planned in the face of mounting allegations that the change of guard has done little to change Bengal’s infamous no-work culture.

“In the past eight months, we have observed that a huge number of employees in Writers’ do not work properly because they have never been briefed properly about the job assigned to them,” labour minister Purnendu Bose said on Monday.

“So the labour department will hold counselling sessions where employees will be told about the importance of maintaining official duty hours and completing their assignments,” he added.

The exercise will then spread to other government departments.

According to Bose, the decision was taken after many of the ministers were flooded with complaints regarding their employees.

“I did not meet one of my private secretaries till about six months after coming to power, as he would come in at 1pm and leave at 4pm,” said Bose. “After I spoke to him I realised that he had no clear idea about his assignment.”

A tour of Writers’ Buildings by Metro on Monday revealed that the problem is not merely attendance or spending hours in office. Ever since Mamata Banerjee became chief minister, the attendance log wears a healthier look.

But with nobody to check what the employees are actually doing, office hours mean leisure time for many. While some spend hours chatting over their phones, others remain busy playing computer games. Tea breaks have been replaced by work breaks — long cha-and-adda sessions with a few work interludes. Employees enjoying a post-lunch siesta was also not an uncommon sight in some of the departments.

Also, many of the employees, affiliated to some workers’ association or the other, spend a considerable amount of their in-office time in their respective union rooms.

Can counselling improve the work culture at Writers’? Tell