Saturday, January 07, 2017

Can do like the French? No work email after hours? January 4, 2016

Email, we love it and we hate it.

As we have said on Nightline, many times, the effects of technology on practice that could be unintentional can and will be huge.

Email has allowed us to be connected much faster but it has also allowed us to be connected ALL THE TIME.

So, can you turn off the email or is it a matter of you need to be on 24/7?

How did your job look 15 years ago?

How did the person, or you, communicate 15 years ago?

Tim Klassen joined the show and we asked can you turn off the email.

Here are a few notes.
A French law that gives employees the "right to disconnect" attempts to improve work-life balance by limiting email outside of work. But will it limit worker productivity?
The new law stipulates that companies negotiate policies that limit the spillover of work into their employees’ private lives. Although there are no penalties for companies that violate the amendment, companies are to establish “charters of good conduct” that specify the times which employees are free from being digitally connected to their workplaces. This right to disconnect amendment was passed as part of a controversial French labor law that some say will weaken unions and enhance employee job insecurity. The digital disconnect amendment was the one part of the law that’s been viewed favorably by the French public.How???In order to meet the new protocol, consultants are recommending that workers avoid the “reply all” function on emails to limit the number of people receiving an email. Another strategy is to designate a time each evening after which employees are not expected to reply to an email. Some have suggested the hours between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., while others have indicated the 12-hour window between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

It follows France's move to make all work weeks 35 hours, put in place in 2000 to encourage companies to hire more people. However, many industries are granted exemptions."On the one hand, change is hard, but on the other hand, for almost every other century, we didn't do this," said Mary LoVerde, a work-life balance expert. "We still made a lot of progress. I'm thrilled with this law because of all of the benefits that there will be for the employees and the businesses. We now know that burning people out has detriments that live on for both businesses and people."What about those in different time zones?What about the emergency need to respond?The law speaks to the challenges technology poses for workers, said JP Gownder, a vice president and principal analyst with Forrester. "Always-connected, anytime access has severely eroded work-life balance for many classes of workers," Gownder said. "But the law itself might have unintended consequences, like larger companies locating jobs outside France, or making workers choose between the law and the quality of their work. It remains to be seen how it will play out."
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