Starting from the beginning of this year, France took a bold step and implemented its new “right to disconnect” law. The law is implemented for one purpose only- work must be left at the workplace.
How many of you have had perfect plans for the weekend or even for the rest of the day and found yourself in front of the computer, reading a bunch of e-mails from the office and ended up working from home, just to lower your responsibilities in the office or catch that dreadful deadline?
Probably, 90% of you reading this article will relate. Sometimes our working hours are simply not enough to finish all the obligations that have been piling up. At the end, you start to lose control over what’re your working hours and your free-time.
However, France decided to put an end to this. We are familiar with France’s practice to threat its workers good by giving them 30 days off per year as well as 16 weeks of paid family leave.
It seems that France is planning to level up its awesomeness with its latest “right to disconnect” law.
So, if you are working in France in a company of 50 or more employees, you’ll be receiving e-mails within your working hours.
So employers wanting to remind their employees about some work-related obligations, won’t be able to do that after working hours, but wait until working hours start.
This new law is especially important in the 21st century, because it seems that it becomes more and more difficult to distance yourself from the workplace and focus on your personal life.
It’s true that the fast-developing technology makes our lives easier and simpler, however it comes with an enormous price. People have no longer time for themselves or their families.
We are becoming and creating generations where staring at our phones for hours and working from our homes is completely normal, even though we are not particularly paid for that.
We just want to finish faster so we can spend more time with our families and all that pressure triggers an enormous amount of stress, which later on affects our health and well-being. This law will allow all employees to take some time off or even take their minds off the workplace and the office.
All the stress which mainly originates from our workplaces will start to decrease as soon as we allow ourselves to have some personal time. It’s true that no one can force you to work overtime, however reading all of those e-mails during a relaxing weekend can surely spoil all the fun and it’s only in our nature not to ignore e-mails from the office, even though they may refer to obligations for Monday or even the next day.
So, you may not be physically at work, however you take the same stress as if you were working. All that stress accumulates over the time, to the point until it breaks.
This law is about to solve that and in that manner overworking and stress will hopefully be diminished.
Even though there are not yet penalties for companies which will disobey the law or violate the amendment, it will give the employees the freedom to distance themselves from the office and take full advantage of their own, personal, free time.
This should definitely be a practice in every company, because overwork often means underperformance and thousands of dollars spent on healthcare. It seems that both employees and companies can benefit from such law, because the more relaxed workers are, the greater the possibility that he/she will perform better in the office.
There have been similar attempts in major European corporations such as Volkswagen, where there was a case when e-mails were deleted when on vacations.
Germany had also implemented similar law in order to reduce the stress and establish fixed working hours, however the difference between the French law and the German law is that in Germany, when an emergency happens, employers or managers are allowed to contact their employees.
So, even though this law came across some criticism, about French people not being able to keep up with the rest of the world, where such law doesn’t exist, the truth is that we can all benefit from such law as soon as all the countries realize the importance of distancing yourself from the workplace and start to follow France’s footsteps. Happy employees mean greater performance and better results.