IT firm in India pleads with workers to ‘GO HOME!!’

A heated debate developed during an internal town hall at Commonwealth Bank last week when the bank’s CEO put an end to working from home. The boss’ demands are reported to have been met with ‘outrage’ – not surprising considering that an estimated 59% of Australians regard flexible working arrangements as a top benefit that an employer can offer.

A heated debate developed during an internal town hall at Commonwealth Bank last week when the bank’s CEO put an end to working from home. The boss’ demands are reported to have been met with ‘outrage’ – not surprising considering that an estimated 59% of Australians regard flexible working arrangements as a top benefit that an employer can offer.

In stark contrast, a small IT firm in India’s central city of Indore decided earlier this year to take drastic steps to ensure its employees spend less time in the office and more at home. A notification system kicks in at the end of an employee’s shift displaying the following message on their screen, uppercasing in tow:

WARNING!!! Your shift time is over. The office system will shutdown in 10 mins. PLEASE GO HOME!!

“The thought behind this is providing employees a good work-life balance so that they can spend time with their families and loved ones,” Chief Executive of Softgrid Computers Ajay Golani said. The company cited an increased focus on the adverse effect of long working hours on the health and relationships of employees as its reason.

In 2021, the World Health Organisation took a breather from its war on COVID to warn the world that working 55 or more hours a week could lead to a 35% higher risk of stroke, and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease – which so happens to be Australia’s #1 killer.

HR Specialist at Softgrid, Tanvi Khandelwal shared on LinkedIn (also with unbridled uppercasing), “NO MORE CALLS AND MAILS OUTSIDE OF BUSINESS HOURS!! Isn’t this fantastic?” hailing the era of ‘flexible working hours’ and a ‘happy environment’.

Tanvi’s post has received more than 400,000 reactions, with most LinkedIn users showing support and admiration for the initiative calling out the employer’s selflessness, care for employee wellbeing and putting its people before profits.

On the other hand, the reception was not unanimous with some suggesting that it would be frustrating to a ‘pure workaholic’ and to those who do not mind ‘burning the midnight oil’ to accommodate for downtime during work hours.

 

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