As the clock strikes 5, you hurriedly pack your bag, fix your desk, and head home. Ahh … the feeling of removing your shoes and coat, the smell of freshly cooked dinner, and the comfort of the sofa all elicit happiness – until your phone buzzes and you see that it’s an e-mail from your boss.
Then your heart starts to pound, your mind suddenly leaves relax mode, and your eyes widen, what could the boss possibly want at this hour? So you open the e-mail and saw the company needs you to send a copy of a presentation – isn’t this an unpaid work?
Well, the French think so. The country implemented the right to disconnect law in January 2017 to help avoid unideal work circumstances such as the situation mentioned.
The modern-day problem is not just among French – in this digital age where almost the entire population has access to technology, this issue has become rampant and more worrisome than ever. This is because burnout is now common among employees and even supervisors.
Some argued that people are pressured into answering phone calls and e-mails once they are off the clock, which they say, should be paid hours. Others insisted that this is a violation of human rights, while there are those that say it’s just a downright disrespect of their time.
This provision mandates companies with 50 or more workers to create a policy that will prevent them from interfering with the lives of their employees outside working hours.
This rule came about because of the harrowing results of a 2015 study by the country’s Ministry Labour wherein it showed the adverse effect of info-obesity on an individual’s health, including burnout and stress.
At this point, technology is both a boon and a bane. Yes, it made it possible to work anytime and anywhere but that also meant your officemates or manager can reach you easily.
This is why it is best to unplug on a daily basis – this means that you will shut the world out when it is time to take a step away from the busy scene. Thanks to the modern-day work setting, not every one of us has a typical 9-to-5 day job.
Those with a more flexible schedule, for example, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., can spend time relaxing in the afternoon. During this window, you need to make sure that your mind is not preoccupied with work matters.
Lastly, the law is more than just about work. It also makes us check ourselves from time to time as we avoid social media.