Muscat: Many ministries in Oman have rescheduled their working hours from 7.30 am to 4:30 pm, following the implementation of the new flexible work timings that will ensure that customer service departments remain open for a longer time and enable faster processing of work.
Under the flexible work system, government sector employees in organisations governed by the Civil Service Law must put in seven hours of work, any time between 7:30 am and 4:30 pm.
“Within the framework of the flexible working system, all service delivery outlets will be available to receive and serve customers from 7:30 am to 3 pm, and our electronic services will continue to remain accessible round-the-clock,” said an official from the Ministry of Labour.
Similar practices have been adopted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning.
A spokesperson said, “The customer services in the ministry has started receiving people from 8 am to 3 pm. In the rest of the directorates and departments affiliated to the ministry in the governorates, the work timings will be from 8 am to 3 pm, while for clearing the transactions of legal action for sale and purchase and the call centre in Muscat Governorate have started working from 8 am to 6 pm.
“But for clearing transactions required at the ministry office, employees are available from 8 am to 2 pm,” he added.
In this context, a Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Investment Promotion (MOCIIP) representative said: “The flexible work system has been extended to 4:30 pm at the ministry headquarters, its directorates and affiliated departments across the various governorates. Coordination and organisation to provide services during flexible working hours is underway.”
At the Environment Authority, an official said: “Services have been in place since Sunday under the flexible timings…we provide services to customers until 3 pm and work in the non-service departments ends at 4:30 pm.”
The flexible work system was brought in to increase productivity and creativity at work, improve the level of services provided to customers and ensure proper attendance by employees. It came into effect following the Ministry of Labour’s issue of Circular No. 5/2022.
Abdullah Al Kharousi, the director general of audit and administrative follow-up at the Ministry of Labour, said that departments in government buildings that provide services to people must coordinate with their managers and colleagues at work to set up a proper schedule to ensure that customer services are not affected.
“Organisational divisions that do not have a direct association with customers are more likely to enjoy a more flexible system of work than those that do provide services to them,” he said. “However, all employees must coordinate with their department heads to ensure they carry out their duties in a way that does not prejudice or affect their responsibilities and duties.
“Employees can come to work at a time deemed appropriate in coordination with their direct superiors and colleagues, and must also make sure their timings do not negatively affect the level of services provided to customers, during the allocated hours,” he added.