25th April 2016
Companies are increasingly implementing flexi work policies due to traffic chaos on Indian roads
Till just about a few years back, I used to frown at the team members who came late even by ten minutes. With the increasing uncertainty on the roads and unprecedented traffic jams, I have learnt to relax even if someone is late by half an hour or more. The plight of most of the workers who use public transport is even worse. Sometimes it’s not possible to even inform through the mobile phone if one is driving due to strict penalties. Bosses have begun to realize that flexi timing is a necessity now so they allow people to come late and work late or come early and go early.
Companies like Microsoft, SAP, Philips, IBM, Ericsson, Bacardi, Samsung, & the Future Group are some of the examples among many more who now allow flexi time privileges to their employees. Some companies even allow the employees to go back home and log in from there in case there is no parking space available or the traffic delay is unexpected. Open time slots of up to 2 hours are given by many of these companies so that the employees can choose their reporting time to office. Some companies do not monitor the entry and exit timing and fully focus on output of the employees during the day or over a week.
Stress on the roads has been finally recognized as a health hazard which reduces the output potential of the work force. One only needs to observe the horrible tweets and social media updates to know how disturbed most people are due to traffic jams, aggressive drivers and road rage incidents. In the Delhi NCR region, people have begun to accept that their vehicle would not remain without dents and scratches for long. Situation in public transport is no less which now witnessing mobs pushing people at peak hours particularly during the odd even days.
According to a press report the Indian employers have begun to appreciate this problem and as a result there has been a huge jump of about 40 to 50% in the number of companies offering flexi work timings and work from home slots to its employees. Infosys, for example had launched an interesting campaign by the title “Ab Bus Karo," to encourage its employees to use public transport car pools and cycles. SAP allows its employees to work from home at least one day in the week while many other companies encourage its employees to work from home and come to office only once or twice in a week. KPMG allows its employees to work from anywhere.
The benefits of implementing such flexi time policies are many. It has already been acknowledged by most organizations as a way to increase productivity and reduce costs. Additional benefits are in terms of a better work life balance for the employees and a very positive effect on the pollution levels. Government of Delhi has recently introduced the odd and even policy which has in effect increased the load on the public transport and is proving to be a costly option for the employees. If the employees, wherever possible, are allowed to come on odd and even days the problem can be reduced to a great extent.
Flexible working arrangement with the facility to work from remote locations is an excellent way of expanding the market for talent as well the reach of operational areas at a low cost. One of my friends who is planning to launch a large portal based networking platform for the social entrepreneurs shared with me how he has cut down his costs by almost 50% by locating his support team for data collections, portal creation and tele calling jobs at Rohtak instead of Gurgaon. The employees are allowed flexi timing and flexi days as long as they meet the stipulated targets.
Businesses have always survived and grown by treating problems as opportunities. The trend is very clear in this case. The problem we are facing on the roads can lead to a working system where most of us would be working from home with more time at our disposal for our families, hobbies, sports and interests. Imagine its impact on the motivation levels and productivity levels which has already been found to be very encouraging by several studies around the world.
Founder of Fortune Architect
Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC
Respected HR Leader
CHRO, LANCO INFRATECH LIMITED
Executive Director-HR & Admin, Experion Developers
Managing Director, UK Fostering, Founder, UKINDO International & CharityWorld.com
Promoter & Director, Rockland Hospitals Network, Delhi
Vice President & HR Head- India/SA at IBM HR Consultant
Founder and a principal consultant with People Talent International
Mr Chauhan has held leadership roles in HR at leading multinational companies
COO & Co-founder of Round Ark Limited, Gurgaon
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