Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Should your boss be banned from contacting you?

womanphone.jpg
herophone.jpg

Reports earlier this week suggested that France has imposed a law banning employers from emailing their staff out of hours.

But before you book that Air France flight and start forwarding your mail, The Local clarified today that there is no law, or even an unofficial ban.

The new measures are in fact an agreement among certain unions to protect around 200,000 workers who work long and unsociable hours.

With Britain already observing a 40-hour work to France's 35, it's not surprising reports of the new employee "law" swept through the press, but would the UK actually benefit from such a move?

Recent research conducted by scientists from Washington University found that people who check their work emails in the evening after work not only suffer from disturbed sleep, but feel tired and disengaged when they're back in the office.

Another study by Harvard Business School professor Leslie Perlow showed that workers who were made to disconnect from work-related content on their smartphones and tablets felt more satisfied at work and and home and became more enthusiastic and efficient at work.

Jane's woodland jogs improved when the boss stopped calling and let her get on with playing Candy Crush

In 2011 an arrangement by Volkswagen in Germany saw the car firm stop its servers from sending emails to some employees when they were off-shift.

The UK's Working Time Regulations don't take out-of-hours communications from employees into account, according to Trades Union Congress. But should they? Such a ban would be a blow against micromanaging bosses but could being out of the loop come 18:05 also be harmful to your career?

And would firms and employees actually observe the rules?

5 ways life might improve if contact was banned after 6pm:

1. No more CC

You've clocked off for the day but some of your colleagues haven't, and include you as an observer in a stream of back-and-forth emails about something you're not going to do anything about for 12 hours. There would be none of that if the Government banned work-related communication after 6pm.

2. 'Could you just...'

It's 18:o1 and you've got a table booked for dinner when an email drops in from your boss asking you to forward on some information for that new account. In the world free of after-work emails, there's no such thing as urgent.

3. No more Private Number/Texts/Voicemails

Unless you claim not to own a mobile, there really is no way to prevent your boss from being able to contact you at anytime they want with a work related request, be it to come in earlier, or even just a reminder it's your turn to buy the office biscuits.

4. A real holiday

You wouldn't be able to 'just check' there are no work-related emergencies occurring in your absence - it would be illegal.

5. One less account to deal with

As if flitting between Twitter and Facebook isn't enough to contend with, the Office Outlook icon is there, like a traffic accident you can't help looking at. A ban on work emails would mean you could disable the account, guilt-free, between the hours of 6pm and 9am.

Related

horriblebosseshero.jpg

30 horrible bosses

boss.jpg

Is your boss a psycho?

cat-main.jpg

Why we're spending work time on YouTube

main-hero.jpg

The 'antisocial network' app that lets you avoid people

57u9565-rt.jpg

Discover the luxury of France’s secret film capital

beachhero.jpg

Why 'beach' is a dirty word in France

Comments

More

What is high-functioning anxiety – and are you suffering from it?

It affects a quarter of young women in the UK alone

by Megan Murray
24 Jul 2017

Quiz: what type of millennial are you?

Because not all millennials are born equal, you know…

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Jul 2017

Everything the Stranger Things 2 trailer reveals about the new series

Still gloriously terrifying and 80s, you’ll be pleased to know

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Dolores takes no prisoners in the new Westworld trailer

Remember when she was the shy, wide-eyed daughter of a rancher? Yeah, us neither

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Grandmother schools us in determination after becoming oldest graduate

Wait til you see what her dissertation was on...

by Megan Murray
24 Jul 2017

Boots apologises for “poor choice of words” on morning-after pill

Cheaper emergency contraception? Unprotected sex party at ours, everyone!

by Amy Swales
24 Jul 2017

Love Island may end tonight, but every single islander will return

These new shows definitely sound like our type on paper…

24 Jul 2017

“How Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington gave my generation a voice"

The musician leaves a lasting legacy

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

The grossly sexist ads we can’t believe exist in the 21st century

From a Co-op egg to that deeply offensive Protein World poster

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

How your Love Island obsession is wreaking havoc with your health

Experts have genuinely issued a warning…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017