the (near) future of office and working in jakarta

January 28, 2011

if you are tired with the picture and headline, here is my thinking

forget about the government

this is for you, employees, entrepreneurs, managers, CEO, etc, to think and act

I am not talking about MRT or any transportation/infrastructure investment, I am talking about breaking the old paradigm of WORKING and OFFICE

1. Encourage virtual office

I know that today many people in Jakarta (especially in managerial roles) currently have been carrying their laptops everywhere they go. They bring a small device (“VPN token”) to connect with their office network. Many companies have their web-based email, web-based approval process, push email, etc.

So, why go to office everyday?

Make it 3x week (or less) for  actually and physically going to office

In addition, with the BlackBerry and the upcoming hype in tablets (iPad, Samsung, and co), the collaboration media is not limited to only laptop/PC. We are already so good in using them for fun, let’s use ’em for some real stuffs.

Go to office only when there is a strong need to meet. Read Seth Godin’s blog on how to make the meeting more expensive but more effective

Virtual office and working from home are  simple idea which will help many things, especially if we focus on significant impact rather than attendance/compliance

2. Move out from Sudirman-Kuningan area to somewhere with direct access to Jakarta Outer Ring Road (JORR)

For functions which cannot be done virtually/remotely (operations, call centers, etc), I recommend to start searching places near the JORR such as Cilandak (TB Simatupang), or Bintaro, or BSD (notes – I am bias on this, all of them are my preferences…)

Many companies have moved to Cilandak area, some call centers are set in Pondok Indah area. That’s good. The key idea is to distribute the traffic jam nodes to Jakarta Ring Road, so the flow will move better rather than locked by Semanggi junction or Casablanca

I have known an analysis that moving an office from Sudirman to an area such as TB. Simatupang is actually more expensive vs status quo. That is when we look at only one cost parameter (for instance building rental cost saving vs. the cost to moving the technology infratstructure). We need to look at the TOTAL cost. The time, the fuel, the depression….


3. Start with your influence circle

I know many of you can influence the decision making process on no 1 & 2

do it


if you haven’t got the answer, you might have not asked the right question

September 5, 2010

for jakarta dwellers, traffic jam is the most important issue.

people thinks it is very crucial for the government to solve the issue, but this issue has been around for more than 15 years 🙂

the government, experts, legislators and ordinary people majority of them think the solution is mass rapid transportation (MRT), the most awaited thing to come in jakarta (more than iPad, obviously).

for me, while the MRT existance is one big part of the solution, I am more interested with the problem.

First of all, the growth of roads in the Greater Jakarta is less than 0.01% per year. The growth of vehicle is 8%.  It does not need a professor in transportation to see the obvious problem.

But this is the same society who likes to show the economics growth with the “positive growth” of car/motors business. We celebrate the annual Jakarta International Motor Show with high anticipation, many visitors and of course the traffic jam in the convention center, and all media will cite the success of the exhibition by quoting the number of  sales and orders. This is the same society who relate success with the ownership of car or motorbike.

To make thing more complex, our economy depends highly on the vehicle industries. Many business, money, and employment are created by the high growth of car/motor industries.

Secondly, is it really only the government’s responsibility?

Let me tell you my observation as a frequent commuter. I have seen bus/truck on the fast lane, not on slow lane. I have seen small car run very slowly on the fast lane, without feeling something’s wrong. So many crazy drivers run their cars zig-zag in the middle of heavy traffic. Motorcycle riders (aka “bikers”) have their own rules. They use the ramps, trotoars, every space they can run through. Most of them don’t stop at the traffic light, get angry when THEY hit other cars.

And the police? They should have enforced the law. Many traffic jams are because of lack of law enforcement. Buses use intersection as temporary terminals. Pedestrians cross the road anywhere they wants. And there is this rule “3-in-1” which I think the biggest joke of the century. Everybody knows that is not effective, does not help the traffic and only creates another problem.

In my opinion, the MRT is a great thing to build. But before that we need to set the basic’s right. As drivers/bikers, we must follow the rules. Policemen must enforce the law. With these two, I think we can reduce the traffic jam a lil bit in the short term, AND especially in the future.

Without getting the basic right and the discipline, the MRT could only create another problem. Just like the busway project.

Sometimes what we need is not a better solution, but just a better way to look at the problem.