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Should your boss be banned from contacting you?

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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.

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