Thursday, May 26, 2016

The French Now Have The Right to Disconnect

How many weekends or vacations have been ruined because of a work email? Okay maybe not too many. But how much of your off-time is spent checking work email or worrying if the boss emailed you something important? Is it easy for you to leave work at work or does the ding on your phone send your stress levels up?

I was recently on a 2 day mini vacation. I do not have my work email setup on my personal cell phone. But I can still use my internet browser and log-in to my work email. I did really good up until the last day and I just had to check. The moment I did my mind was back at the office.

The French government understands how employees can easily get job-related burnout because they are always connected.

“All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” Benoit Hamon of the French National Assembly told the BBC earlier this month. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash-- like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails -- they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down."

The El Kohmri labor labor law will make it illegal for companies with more than 50 employees to email their employees after typical work hours. As of now there are no penalties for not following this law so companies are really only doing this voluntarily. This new law will also change the current 35 hour work week and is said to help with the high unemployment rate in France. Of course there are two sides on this labor reform. While some are fighting for a fair work/life balance, others are fighting to help the French economy flourish.

What do you think about this "right to disconnect"? 
Do you think laws like this can help people relieve some stress in their lives? 

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