Even if your office hours are “officially” from nine to five, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve added your work e-mail account to your phone’s mail app and that you check it several times between leaving the office and returning the next morning. While it may not necessarily be a requirement that you do so, you feel an obligation to remain constantly connected to work so that when the time comes for promotions (or, alternatively, lay-offs), your boss knows that you’re committed to your job because you literally never stop working.
However, if you’re working in France, work-life balance just got a hell of a lot easier for you. Starting this new year, France just passed a “right to disconnect” law, requiring that companies with 50 or more employees create policies to limit requirements for out-of-office communication, including giving employees the legal right to ignore work e-mails once they leave the office. If you think this is a dream come true, it gets even better – France has a 35-hour workweek as well, so not only can you turn off your phone when you leave for the weekend, but you’ll have a half-day every Friday as well.
If you’re a workaholic American, which I’m assuming you are since you’re reading PGP, the motivation behind this should come as no surprise – with employees constantly tuned into their work, burn-out records are at an all-time high. By limiting out-of-office technology, France hopes to instill mandatory work-life-balance into their citizens, making them happier at home and more productive at work. Now that your end-of-year bonus has been direct deposited into your checking account, it may be worth considering using your February tax refund check for a one-way plane ticket to a magical land where you only have to work the equivalent of one full-time job a week..
[via Washington Post]
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