France has recently passed a bill which is meant to reform workers rights. While some of the new laws have been extremely unpopular, sparking mass protests, included in the reform package is a “right to disconnect”.
In my last post I discussed the idea of a work-life balance. In this new law, France attempts to break the digital tether with a law giving you the right to not answer your phone and emails after work hours; an enforced “quiet time”. In North America and around the world it seems that there is increasingly an expectation to always be available. With a cell phone or smart phone in nearly every pocket, the ability to connect with anyone using text, email and direct phone call instantly is easier than ever.
That begs the question – just because you can be reached instantly, does that mean that you should be expected to respond instantly? Do you stress out when you hear the notification chime on your phone hoping that you don’t miss something important? Some professions have scheduled “on call” and are paid extra for this time even if they don’t actually have to work during this period. Maybe employees should be negotiating extra pay into their contract if there is going to be an expectation to do work outside of work hours.