As technology is increasingly infiltrating people’s lives, some employers are giving their workers the “right to disconnect” when they’re not on the job. Canada’s government is analyzing its labour standards to see if similar changes are necessary.
A new survey of IT leaders and office workers finds that 58 percent of technology leaders believe they could comply with a ban on after-hours work emails. However, 43 percent of workers don’t believe their managers would observe the rule.
Also, 48 percent of workers said if a ban was in place they would still want to check their emails after work.
According to Deborah Bottineau, district director for Robert Half Technology that conducted the survey, constant communication between colleagues makes it hard for people to “rest and reset between workdays.”
“While some contact may be unavoidable, frequently responding to requests or emails after-hours can be a recipe for burnout, resulting in less productive, creative and engaged employees,” she noted. “Managers should encourage their staff to set defined ‘off-hours’ in order to recharge – and lead the way by doing the same.”
The survey involved 500 Canadian office workers aged 18 and older and 270 IT decision makers.
People who disconnect from work lead better lives, according to research. They experience less work-related fatigue, better engagement on the job, more satisfaction with relationships, greater work balance, and better mental and physical health.
The average adult spends as many as 10 hours a day looking at a screen either for work or pleasure. It’s important to understand that unplugging is beneficial in more ways than one. So how can you disconnect? Try the following steps:
- Delegate and give your colleagues more responsibilities
- Plan and prioritize so your tasks are complete by the end of the work day
- Schedule activities that force you to leave work at a reasonable time
- Download an app on your smartphone that reminds you to relax
- Make it a priority to relax, have fun, and spend time with loved ones