In January 2017, France introduced legislation which gave workers the right to disconnect. Simply put, this made it compulsory for companies with over 50 employees to allow workers to leave their work precisely where it should be – the office. It established hours out-with the working day, during which employees should not send or receive any work-related emails.
The logic behind the legislation is easily understood. The idea of leaving the office for the day, only to arrive home to countless emails regarding the days work is not far-fetched – if anything, it’s common. Even if we choose not to answer them, the thought of work inevitably plagues our minds, meaning we return to work the next day still drained as we failed to fully disconnect the night before. The validity of this vicious cycle of work related worries is supported by an Employee Outlook report carried out by CIPD in Spring 2017, which found that a third of employees agree that remote access to the workplace means that they can’t fully switch off in their own personal time.
It seems that the lines between our personal and working lives have undoubtedly been blurred as a result of the digital age – however, is this always a bad thing?
In the same report by CIPD, it was found that over half (51%) of employees felt that having remote access to the workplace after they leave allowed them to work more flexibly. Furthermore, 41% agreed that it helped them keep on top of their workload, while 37% believed it helped them be more productive. These figures are not much of a surprise when we consider the growth in popularity of flexible working.
Flexible working in our current climate is not just limited to working mothers, as in previous years. Millennials have now wracked up a reputation for being most efficient when working in flexible conditions, rather than in a strict and routine office setting. Working from outside the office is a crucial part of this, with the number of companies offering a ‘working from home’ option steadily increasing. According to a study by PWC, millennials will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so it’s undeniable that this way of working will only become more widespread.