Employees in India dread long commuting hours to work every day and industry experts draw direct linkage to stress-related health issues, impacting employee productivity at work and overall job satisfaction levels.
JobBuzz, an employer-rating platform recently conducted a ‘Work Commuting Survey’ of India Inc. employees, and this showed, “57 percent employees in metros and 43 percent employees in small cities spend more than an hour commuting to office every day and this hampered their productivity.”
“What employees feel instinctively has been substantiated by numerous health studies that show the adverse effects of long commutes ranging from increased cholesterol and blood pressure, to anxiety and even depression. On a macro scale, the effects of commuting are obvious from contributing to traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, to urban sprawl and global warming,” explains Vivek Madhukar, COO, TimesJobs.com.
Over 50 per cent of India Inc employees spend more than an hour commuting to work every day. The survey revealed some striking commuting patterns: 53 percent male employees spend more than an hour in commuting to office; 35 percent spend over 30 minutes, while 44 percent female employees spend more than an hour in commuting to office.
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Should proximity of office close to home be an important criterion while taking up a job?
52 percent of the respondents’ surveyed feel an office near home is an important criterion when taking up a job, while the remaining 42 percent think proximity of one’s office to one’s home doesn’t matter as long as the job and salary “were fitting”.
In terms of gender, 65 percent male respondents felt proximity to home was a crucial factor in deciding their acceptance of an offer of employment. However, only 37 per cent female employees felt the same way. A whopping 63 percent of female employees clearly stated that proximity was not a concern for them, if career and financial benefits were good.
Madhukar added: “What seems evident is that employees in India Inc. are willing to forego their personal well-being for the benefits of higher income or better housing being passed onto other members of their household. They are sacrificing themselves for their families’ happiness.”
One of the reasons for long commuting hours to work, could be attributed to use of public transport system, wherein 45 percent of the respondents use public transport because it’s economical and efficient mode of commuting to save on time. While nearly 40 percent respondents use their own vehicles for commuting to work, 9 percent rely on transport facilities provided by the company, and only a meagre 6 percent said they organised and regularly used carpools.
To substantiate these findings further, an average worker spends nearly 200 hours a year (5 weeks a year) commuting to and from work. Now employers have a reason enough to understand why their employees do not look fresh and energetic every morning. How do you fix this problem? Should your business consider relocation to promote employees interests? Or you should prefer hiring in the local area while limiting your likelihood and possibility to find best talent?
The only way to turnaround this situation would be to restore motivation in the employees who arrive every morning at work, after long hours of commute. This can be achieved by discouraging anxiety, encouraging feeling of self worth and instilling satisfaction at work and personally to bridge communication gaps at workplace. This will help reduce employee turnover citing long hours of commute as the reason to quit jobs and look for change.
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