Indore-based IT company SoftGrid Computers sends employees a message that their shift has ended on their workstations. “Warning!!!” the message begins in big red letters. “Your shift time is over. The office system will shut down in 10 minutes. Please go home!” it urges. The company does this to promote work-life balance, and to ensure that employees leave office at time.
“This is not a promotional and imaginary post,” said an employee on LinkedIn while sharing the picture. “This is the reality of our office, SoftGrid Computers. My employer supports Work Life Balance. They put this special Reminder, which locks my desktop after business hours and issues a warning,” the employee said. SoftGrid provides software, cloud and digital marketing services to companies and clients.
HR said that the system wasn’t a one-time promotion, but had been in force for a while. They also revealed that apart from shutting down employees’ workstations, the company also restricts official calls or emails outside business hours.
The idea behind restricting calls and emails after work hours isn’t new — countries like France also restrict employers from contacting employees after work hours. But SoftGrid’s idea of shutting down employees’ systems after work hours is new. The system will not only nudge employees to be more productive during the day so as to finish their work on time, but also make sure they leave when their official work timings are over.
And leaving offices in time might be the one factor that contributes most to promoting work-life balance. Many companies implicitly assume that employees who spend longer in office are continuing more to the business, and several bosses also seem to view employees who spend long hours in office more favorably. But time spent in office is often a poor measure of employee productivity, and often results employees spending more time in office than required. With an Indore-based IT company now putting a stop to this by literally shutting down employees’ workstations once office hours are over, it could set an example for companies, both big and small, into helping employees have a fulfilling life outside of work.