Australians now have the right to disconnect from work. Will other countries follow suit?

Not everyone is on board with these laws, though. Len Shackleton, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, wrote that the right to disconnect may lead to unintended consequences that ultimately harm workers’ mental health. Employers could put more pressure on their staff to ensure they’re getting every minute of productivity possible during the scheduled work day, for example. But as the UK considers similar legislation put forward by the Labour Party, one self-proclaimed “bad boss” wrote that he believes the threat of legal consequences is the answer to making everyone behave better—and healthier—at work.

André Spicer, a professor at the Bayes Business School at City, University of London, recently admitted that he often sends co-workers emails at 5 a.m. and on weekends, even though he knows he shouldn’t. He has tried to implement systems to avoid it, but he often fails. “Many people find it difficult to stop themselves making work-related communications outside working hours,” he wrote, in a column for The Guardian in which he all but begged for the UK government to legally prohibit him from doing so.

So far, these laws may be too new to draw conclusions about how much they’re changing work-life balance and quality of life. However, one study published by Eurofound showed that even if behavior hasn’t changed, employees feel better with these laws in place. They experience better work-life balance, less anxiety and stress, and fewer headaches.

Managers, too, stand to benefit from legislation that helps them declutter and avoid needless meetings and emails, Spicer wrote. “Clear boundaries might be tough for managers like me to get their heads around,” he said. “But perhaps a right to disconnect would force us to ensure our contracted work day was spent doing things that really matter.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top