In an era when society is slowly more integrated with technology in nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s hard not to feel completely immersed or connected to our peers at any given moment.
If it’s through social media or even email, at nearly any given moment there’s someone who can reach out and contact you if given enough reason to.
In defiance of how detrimental this constant connection may be, employees in France have now won the right to ignore emails from their supervisors after 6pm.
According to The Guardian, a new law has been passed in French Parliament to guarantee employees ‘right to disconnect’. The publication states that
“On 1 January, an employment law will enter into force that obliges organisations with more than 50 workers to start negotiations to define the rights of employees to ignore their smartphones.”
With a nearly never-ending way to engage with people, it only seems natural that the last person you’d want to hear from during off hours is your boss.
Previous studies conducted by the Future Work Centre headed by Dr. Richard MacKinnon has revealed the negative impacts that our most basic of digital communications can provide us.
“The people who reported it being most useful to them also reported the highest levels of email pressure. But the habits we develop, the emotional reactions we have to messages and the unwritten organisational etiquette around email, combine into a toxic source of stress which could be negatively impacting our productivity and wellbeing.”
Disconnecting from the workplace is now becoming a more common practice across Europe, with companies such as Volkswagen actually implementing policies that deactivate employee issued Blackberries, to prevent unnecessary pestering by supervisors.
A certain level of detachment is always healthy.
Too much communication is never positive and future proofing practices like this only help better the workplace environment.
Leave the work at work, and maybe read a book – it’s good for stress levels.