A Tech Company Locks Out Staff After Each Day For 'Work-Life Balance' & The Debate Is Fierce

"PLEASE GO HOME!" reads the warning message.

Senior Editor
A SoftGrid Computers employee reacts to a message telling her to log off at the end of the day.

A SoftGrid Computers employee reacts to a message telling her to log off at the end of the day.

It can be hard to keep the right work-life balance, but how would you feel if your employer locked you out of your job at the end of your scheduled shift?

A tech company is winning plenty of praise for the way it's been forcing employees to log off in the name of work-life balance, but not everyone is on board with the idea of hitting a hard stop at the end of a shift.

A fierce debate about the topic has been playing out over the last few weeks thanks to Tanvi Khandelwal, an HR specialist at India-based SoftGrid Computers, who recently explained her employer's policy on LinkedIn.

"My employer supports #WorkLifeBalance," Khandelwal wrote in her viral post, which has generated over 425,000 likes on LinkedIn. "They put this special Reminder, which locks my desktop after business hours and issues a warning."

The post includes a photo of the company's computer takeover message which reads: "WARNING!!! Your shift time is over. The office System will shut down in 10 mins. PLEASE GO HOME!"

Khandelwal goes on to say that she loves the policy because it leads to a "happy environment" at work, and she finds it much better than a "Monday Motivation" or "Fun Friday" promotion to drum up excitement.

The post has generated well over 7,000 comments in the days since, and the opinions are all over the place.

Some people love the idea of an employer that sets boundaries for people and encourages them to live their lives outside of work.

However, many others were furious about the idea of being forced to drop everything in the middle of an important task or call.

"I understand life-work balance is important, but having this type of cut off seems more damaging and stress inducing than helpful," reads the top comment on LinkedIn.

"God I'd hate it," said another. "Let me decide how and when I work, I don't need to be switched off!"

"That’s not really in the spirit of flexible working," wrote another user. "That is enforced working hours and I’d have a real problem with that, having worked in a truly flexible workplace. Appreciate the spirit of the gesture though."

Others pointed out that this is not a one-size-fits-all solution, because some industries require more flexible hours than others.

"What if there is an escalation from the customer which requires an employee to work after shift?" asked one person.

The company's CEO, Shweta Shulka, recently told NBC News that the policy was designed to help staff prioritize breaks and break free from late meetings and office demands.

"Coming up with this solution was a shared thought process amongst all partners," Shulka told the outlet. "Since the pandemic, we have all been facing issues with working overtime and missing out on the social parts of our daily lives, like quality time with our families and loved ones."

Shulka also clarified how the shutdown message works.

"This pop-up message is not an ultimatum," she said. "It serves as a reminder for our teammates and with a simple restart, they can get back to work if required."

In other words, there are workarounds to get back at it, although you still might get booted off if a meeting goes slightly over the limit.

Would you support a hard stop at the end of your work day?

Josh Elliott
Senior Editor
Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media focused on celebrity interviews and is based in Toronto, Ontario.