Motilal Oswal Financial Services, one of India’s leading broking and financial services firms, has implemented a unique policy to prioritize the well-being and productivity of its employees. The policy, known as the “Switch-Off” from Work Policy, allows employees to disconnect from work and emails outside of their fixed shift timing of 8.0/8.5 hours.
This policy, one of the first of its kind in corporate India, applies to approximately 9,500 out of the company’s 11,000 employees, including senior managers and those below their level. The aim is to improve employee wellness and ensure a healthy work-life balance, group chief HR officer Niren Srivastava told ET.
To effectively implement the policy, Motilal Oswal Financial Services will shut down its email servers, preventing employees from sending or receiving emails both internally and externally. This will occur after a 45-minute grace period following the end of their shift, allowing employees to wrap up their day’s work. Additionally, any employees who exceed their work schedule, including the grace period, will be required to leave the office premises.
Motilal Oswal, the group managing director and CEO, emphasized that the focus is not on the number of hours worked but rather on the employees’ peace of mind, satisfaction, well-being, and productivity. The company strongly believes in prioritizing the health and well-being of its employees, and this policy allows them the freedom to do so, Oswal said.

The administration and HR teams are responsible for ensuring compliance with the policy across all offices. However, top executives and employees in private equity, asset & wealth management, and investment banking are exempt from this rule due to their specific work schedules. Flexibility will also be granted to other business units based on specific business requirements.
Srivastava explained that the focus should be on productive hours rather than the number of hours worked. The human brain reaches saturation beyond 8.0-8.5 hours, and the additional commute time should not be underestimated, he said. He added that work essentially starts when one leaves home and ends when one returns, so organizations need to consider the 3-4 hours of travel time that employees spend in metro cities.

In the next phase, the policy will extend to restricting access to business-specific applications during designated “switch-off” hours. The implementation will be tailored to different roles and determined in consultation with respective business teams. Motilal Oswal Financial Services has implemented this policy after thorough discussions and agreements with CEOs and department heads.
The HR teams are also actively sensitizing managers about the policy and have established a mechanism to monitor its effectiveness. They welcome all escalations and concerns from employees and management.

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