Their pay slips may not be enviable, but their work-style sure is.
While those in the private sector must stretch themselves to meet tight deadlines, babus in government offices have the luxury of sedentary jobs, fixed working hours, the maximum number of holidays — and, no wonder, the least amount of work-related stress.
In a recent study on levels of stress at the workplace, conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), officials employed in central and state government offices (except key ministries), government schools and government-funded institutions have been categorised in the “low stress zone”.
Government officials, not surprisingly, disagree with the survey’s findings. Former Delhi chief secretary S Reghunathan points out that many officers have had heart attacks at work. “In the corporate sector, you have only one chief,” he says. “But in the government you have five masters — your immediate boss, the executive wing, the politicians, the general public and the media.” Indira Yadav, education director, MCD, too differs with the survey. “Teachers need to worry about the performance of their students. Education officers are accountable if examination results are poor,” she says.
Koteshhwar Prasad Dobhal, director (PR), Assocham, however, insists: “Compared to the work pressure faced by those engaged in fields like construction, banks, hospitals and the media, government officials have it easy.”
Assocham contacted about 300 people from various fields.