There are very few things that could make me want to move out of the good ol’ US of A. But there’s a proposed law in France that could have me relocating to Paris ASAP.
The new law would give employees the “right to disconnect” during the hours they are not at work or on vacation. If passed, the law would go into effect in 2018 and would require companies to urge their employees to turn off phones and other devices when they are off the clock.
While other laws recently passed in the country do not favor the worker (in fact, recent legislation that allows overtime caused protests), this particular law is aimed at improving the mental health of employees. According to USAToday, a study by risk analysis firm Technologia found that 3.2 million workers in France were emotionally drained from work and at risk of developing burnout symptoms like exhaustion and chronic stress.
“It is a real problem,” said Yves Lasfargue, a sociologist who specializes in teleworking, told the paper. “Twenty years ago, before emails had been invented and we could not reach colleagues, we would have to go and knock on their doors. Traditional courtesy teaches you to abstain from disturbing people. With these new tools, this form of courtesy has totally disappeared. This is why we need to legislate.”
One person that doesn’t understand that “traditional courtesy”? My boss. Let me see if I understand this right – if I move to France, he can’t email me on Saturday at 2:47 p.m. demanding that I resend him the quarter-end report that’s already in his inbox but he’s too lazy to search for? Sold. If you need me, I’ll be brushing up on my Francois. How do you say “I’m taking a vacation day” in French? .
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