R Janani, a BPO employee, just quit her job unable to travel daily over 20 km to her office in Siruseri. She is joining a firm closer home, quitting a company where she had worked for the last five years. M Sudharshan, too, quit his job with a software company in Ambattur due to back-pain triggered by a 30-km commute every day.

Distance factor

Employees, increasingly, are citing commuting issues as a reason to leave a company. This is also becoming a major factor that employees are factoring in before joining a new company, said an HR manager of a leading software company on condition of anonymity. The situation is similar to some schools that insist students should be living within 5 km of the school to be eligible for admission.

When it comes to companies, employees, too, prefer to live within a distance of 5-10 km from their workplace as they often work more than 12 hours, he said. About 40 per cent of the employees surveyed admit that commuting is an issue. This trend is prevalent in sectors like the information technology, ITeS, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and engineering, said Kamal Karanth, MD, Kelly Services & OCG India.

Telecommuting options

“We see companies offering flexi office timings and operating during non-peak hours to ensure their employees do not face such issues. Work from home options is largely seen in the IT space, but we haven’t seen its adoption in other sectors,” he said. Aditya Narayan Mishra, President-Staffing, Randstad India, too, agrees that commute is increasingly becoming important as a criterion for selecting a prospective employer. This is more prevalent among women owing to family responsibilities and health related concerns.

Suchita Dutta, Executive Director, Indian Staffing Federation, said employees definitely look for a comfortable commute route to actual distance that needs to be covered, as an important aspect of their job stay.

Commuting in metro cities is a major issue but not much in tier 2 and 3 cities. About 60-70 per cent of people in metro cities find the commute time and cost higher.

Companies do have cab facility for employees. However, commute time isn’t any less, it does increase marginally. In major cities, metro rail is of great help, both in terms of cost and time, she said.

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