Where is the party in the opposition that has not been described as commuterist by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not removed the reproach called commuterism, against the most advanced parties of the opposition, as well as against its reactionary opponents? Two things result from this fact:
· Commuterism is now accepted by all Indian powers as a power in itself.
· It is high time that travelers must openly, in front of the whole world, share their views, their goals, their inclinations and meet this nursery tale of the Commuting Spectrum with a self-manifestation.
For this purpose, travelers of various professions and spheres have collaborated with me in this column, to express their views in this manifestation below.
Commuterism is the belief that everyone should commute to work, spend sufficient hours at the office engaging in an activity resembling productivity, and then return home. Of course, the journey is not the destination, but it is the essence of the idea of the work. Critics have historically pointed out that Indians spend more time commuting to the office than people in most other economies. So? Aren’t our cities good enough for you, critics? Then why don’t you do WFH in Abbottabad!
A 2018 Boston Consulting Group (BSG) report, “Unlocking Cities: The Impact of Ride Sharing Across India” (on.bcg.com/3AdPttv) noted that the level of congestion in Indian cities is significantly higher – an average of 149% – than in other Asian cities, despite Mumbai’s suburban rail and Delhi/NCR metro services. More road-based cities like Bengaluru and Kolkata are apparently worse off. BSG, at least, proposes ridesharing – what
kshatriyas call it carpooling.
The Q1 2019 v Q1 2018 Travel Time Report (bit.ly/3Ph3lr1) goes one step further, stating that a working day on four metros “constitutes at least 2 hours on the road” – and an additional 1.3-1.6 times that a lot. in peak traffic than in other comparable Asian cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City. As if to rub a commuter’s nose in the dirt of the data, it adds that Mumbai and Bengaluru are the ‘slowest moving’ cities averaging no more than 19km/h during commutes.
This pre-Covid report was conducted by ’employee-on-the-go’ company WorkInSync in 2018. Post-Covid, its focus, interestingly, shifted significantly to ‘enabling the hybrid workplace’. In other words, to suppress commuting and have India’s WFH/WFA workforce. WTF!
Covid came as an opportunity to drive travel out of the urban Indian’s work experience. Whether the corporate CEO is stuck in traffic in his Audi after skipping the Sea Link like a breeze, or whether the Delhi office commuter has started his body to get into the metro carriage from New Ashok Nagar, it is a hostile experience for our work culture that cannot be denied by new western technologies and fantastic management – they speak of ‘productivity’ and ‘quality’.
The point of travel is to feel exhausted, mentally strained for at least an hour or more after entering the office space. This can only be compared to the thrill of exhaustion after a competitive run before a competitive swim. Time spent commuting to work is not a ‘waste’ – as the anti-communists would have it – but a part of the ‘work will set you free’ experience that the idle and unemployed do not get.
The post-Covid obsession with continuing WFH or ‘hybrid work’ – the term itself sounds straight out of a vat of formaldehyde created by a domestic multibody Victor Frankenstein – is an attempt to deny this natural, healthy friction between a worker and his daily pilgrimage. . As people like Musk and Goenka well know, where will the water cooler ideas come from if we don’t gather around the office water cooler? Get real not added!
The ride home is not a concern, as one has the luxury of being just as tired and drained the moment work stops. So workers of the world, travel! You have nothing to lose but your sense of irony!