Calling time on email?
This article discusses how the French government has recently instated a right for employees to disconnect from mobile devices to “ensure the respect of the rest periods and breaks, as well as the personal and domestic life”.
It is of course recognised that most employees enjoy the freedom that mobile devices give them and answering the odd email after hours is unlikely to be a problem. However, studies have repeatedly highlighted that it’s not just the amount of time spent on work emails, but the anticipatory stress and expectation of answering after-hours emails that is draining employees. Setting out the boundaries between work and home becomes increasingly difficult for the employee and the workday is being extended indefinitely.
Creating a clear split between employee working life and home life results in the employee feeling less stressed which is likely to ultimately improve the performance at work. Whereas working outside normal working hours limits the sense of detachment from work which is linked to feeling more tired, less relaxed and less happy the next day.
With the mental health of employees being an ever increasingly important consideration for employers, this is not something any employer can afford to ignore. Employers need to take the lead and review their policies and requirements to ensure people have adequate rest periods between work and maintain a good work-life balance. However, it’s not just companies that can help improve employees wellbeing, individual managers can make a difference and improve their teams wellbeing by something as small as, communicating the expectations of answering emails and shifting the way after-hours work is handled.
Lincoln Occupational Health can assist companies with this by delivering training to managers on stress management which discusses how to avoid stress in the workplace and how to recognise the signs of stress in themselves and their team.
If you have any questions regarding this topic please do not hesitate to contact Katie Eastwell on firstname.lastname@example.org