You ViewsVOLUME 18 ISSUE # 43

Coping with hyperinflation

The whole nation has been reeling under unprecedented hyperinflation that has been playing havoc with the population, especially those belonging to lower and middle classes. Owing to hyper-inflationary trends, prices of every basic, essential item have gone through the roof. It is practical to digest the hard fact that nothing is going to reverse the trend in the short term, and people would do well to learn how to cope.

Be it basic edible items, like flour, cooking oil, or petrol and LNG, nothing seems to be affordable. And, like it or not, they are going to be even more unaffordable in the days and months ahead.

With every hike in petrol prices, which is irritatingly frequent, there is a concurrent increase in public transport fares. Commuting to the workplace is a hassle one way or the other. Be it public transport or a personal vehicle, the cost of daily two-way commute is going upward at a pace that is not matched by one’s salary. Not going to the workplace is not an option, of course.

With petrol being currently priced at Rs305 per litre, it is high time all government and private-sector organisations initiated an organised work-from-home policy. There should be at least two-day work-from-home per week not only in all government offices, but across the job market. The private sector should do it on its own, but if it does not, the government should intervene and make it happen.

This will help employees save fuel cost, and will actually improve their output, for they will be working under less stressful conditions, knowing that any disruption in work will potentially end the arrangement and they will be forced to bear the cost of commuting again. The private sector will be able to cut down electricity and other costs, while the government will have to spend a considerably less amount on importing oil owing to less consumption of fuel. This will actually be a win-win situation for all.

In any case, gone are the days when workers’ physical presence was needed in the office every single day. Large brands and corporate giants have already adopted remote work as a policy. And it is, indeed, working well. There is nothing that stops us from taking that route across the board.

Shakil Khawaja