Do you remember days of yore, when getting your work e-mails on your phone was a twinkle in Apple’s eye? Now we live in a society, where we can be contacted 247 anywhere in the world, at any time!
Imagine the scene, it’s Friday night, you get in from work, you’ve fed the dog, the takeaway has been ordered, the drink of your choice has been poured and you can feel the joy of the forthcoming weekend flooding your senses. Then there’s a bing and you’re aware it’s an e-mail.
You know you shouldn’t look, you know you should ignore it….. BUT it just MIGHT be important, so you check it! It’s a message from your boss saying that they need something urgently first thing Monday morning, but not to worry too much, they don’t need it till 8am.
Sound familiar? Well very soon it could be illegal for companies in New York to do this to their staff, if the “disconnecting from work bill” is passed. The plan is that for those who violate the policy, they’ll have to pay a fine of either $250 or $500 to their employee.
But could something similar ever be introduced in the UK? I’m not sure whether it would, but I am a great believer that your staff aren’t on 247 call, you don’t pay them 247 wages, so they have a right to time off.
Similar measures have been adopted in France and a law now makes it illegal for staff to respond to work correspondence out of their working hours and employees must be made aware that there’s no expectation on them to deal with work-related matters in their own time.
Hopefully (like me) you’re lucky enough to have staff who work hard and go above and beyond the call of duty for your business. This is great and I know we couldn’t function without them, but I also want them to enjoy working here and to not burn out!
A member of staff who feels under pressure to constantly be at work, won’t give you their best and could end up leaving for a job they think wont infringe on their private life as much.
Taking a break is good for you and your staff! Whether it’s encouraging them to take a lunch hour or stepping away from their computer for some fresh air, it’s important they move away from their desks.
It’s also important that they know, that when they’re on leave, they aren’t expected to check in with work or deal with problems. They should leave their phone at home and enjoy themselves.
Encouraging your staff to take a break is hugely important, it allows them to recharge their batteries, meaning they’ll come back to work feeling refreshed and able to look at projects with fresh eyes. Our blog looks at why it’s important that your staff take their holiday entitlement.
What’s your views? Do you think your staff should be on constant call or do you encourage them to take regular breaks?