BENGALURU: Will staggered work hours for IT firms help ease rush-hour traffic? Techies don’t think so. The state government has proposed rescheduling of office hours, staggered working hours and rotational offs on different days for the IT companies. But many techies ask why the government is trying to disrupt their daily work routines instead of upgrading infrastructure.
They feel the plan is quite impractical considering most software companies have clients overseas and have staggered work hours anyway depending on the clients’ requirements.
Pravir Bagrodia, an IT professional and member of citizens’ platform Whitefield Rising, terms the proposal “totally redundant”. He said, “Even before the government came up with this idea, most of us have been doing staggered working hours.”
He added, “An IT company doesn’t require the government to set their office timings. The firms have a work model to follow.”
Many fear the new proposal will lead to peak-hour jams becoming an all-day norm. Ravi K, an employee of an IT firm in Whitefield, said, “With the kind of roads we have in the city, change in office timings will hardly make any difference to the traffic chaos. I am sure we will see peak-hour rush all through the day.”
Wasif Rahman, a techie from Electronics City, said, “Today we see congestion on all major roads after 8am and 5pm. So what would be the alternative except maybe working at night? Is this really a feasible option? The bigger question is what about the infrastructure.”
K S Viswanathan, vice-president of NASSCOM, said, “Many companies already follow a shift system. Along with the proposal, the government should inculcate better civic sense among commuters like no overtaking from left and lane discipline.”
However, R Hitendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), is quite positive that the new proposal will ease the traffic situation in IT corridors. “Although we have not done a proper study, it will definitely help in reducing traffic congestion.
Today, at a single time, we have 3,000 BMTC buses entering Whitefield which create a gridlock. If there is a slight change in work timings, buses can enter at different intervals without creating traffic snarls. Moreover, we are not asking IT companies to make major changes, one hour to half an hour change is what we are demanding.”
Deb Nath, an employee working at Manyata Tech Park, said, “If BMTC buses are the issue, why are they not bringing in the commuter rail? If they think rescheduling work hours will ease traffic, they might as well ask corporates to let techies work from home.”
“By proposing rotational offs, it looks like the government is all set to take away family time from IT employees,” he said.