Protect the Right to Disconnect!

Before the pandemic, the boundaries between work and private life were already blurred enough. Thanks to the evolution of technology, we were all constantly checking our messages. Then again, the pandemic led to border violations and even made the violation natural. Leaders and all level managers must take immediate action on this issue, or their losses will be huge.

That’s where the right to disconnect comes into play.

According to Eurofound, the ‘right to disconnect’ refers to a worker’s right to be able to disconnect from work and refrain from engaging in work-related electronic communication, such as emails and other messages, during non-work hours and holidays.

One of the key points of improving employee engagement is to show your employees that you respect their work-life boundaries. Acknowledge basic working hours and avoid contacting your employees after working hours. Do not let your employees to work unpaid and involuntary overtime.

Portugal has a law that prohibits employers from texting employees after working hours.

Soon, more countries will pass legislation that is centred on promoting work-life balance and each worker’s right to rest, especially for remote workers. Just because employees are working from home doesn’t mean the concept of working hours has gone out the window.

Don’t overlook these observations from Andrew Pakes, Research Director at Prospect:

“People’s experience of working from home during the pandemic has varied wildly depending on their jobs, their home circumstances, and crucially the behaviour of their employers.

“It is clear that for millions of us, working from home has felt more like sleeping in the office, with remote technology meaning it is harder to fully switch off, contributing to poor mental health.

“Remote working is here to stay, but it can be much better than it has been in recent months.

“Including a Right to Disconnect in the Employment Bill would big a big step in redrawing the blurred boundary between home and work and would show that the government is serious about tackling the dark side of remote working.”

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