Please go home! Indian firm deploys software for work-life balance

NEW DELHI: A small IT firm in the central Indian city of Indore has devised an unusual method of ensuring its employees maintain a healthy work-life balance — by developing software that alerts them when their shift is over and it is time to go home.

Softgrid Computers’ software is equipped with a notification system that kicks in the moment an employee’s shift is over, warning them that “the office system will shut down in 10 mins” and asking them to “please go home”.

The measure comes as there is a greater emphasis on research into the negative effects of long working hours on employees’ health and relationships around the world. Working 55 or more hours per week, for example, has been linked to a 35% increased risk of stroke and a 17% increased risk of dying from heart disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The idea is to give employees a good work-life balance so they can spend time with their families and loved ones,” CEO Ajay Golani told Reuters partner ANI.

Tanvi Khandelwal, an employee, recently shared a picture of the warning on a company desktop, which sparked a social media frenzy.

“They put this special reminder that locks my desktop after business hours and issues a warning,” Khandelwal said a week ago on LinkedIn. Her post has received nearly 400,000 likes since then. “NO MORE OUTSIDE BUSINESS HOURS CALLS AND MAIL!! Isn’t this amazing?”

Kritika Dubey, one of the company’s 40 employees, told ANI that the pop-up enabled her to leave on time while also fulfilling other responsibilities at home.

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