French Workers Now Have The Right To Ignore After Hours Emails

French Workers Now Have The Right To Ignore After Hours Emails

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]

Image via Shutterstock

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Steph W.

Steph W. is a new Master's degree graduate with an intern's salary and six-figure taste. She realizes her expectations far exceed reality, so she spends her days pinning away Loubs she pretends are in her physical closet instead of her virtual one. Her hobbies include attempting to trapping her boyfriend into marriage before he finds out how insane she is and pretending that Black Box wine tastes as good as the kind she could afford when she was gainfully employed. Send her tips for getting out of student debt at

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