I have mixed views on France's decision to put the Right to Disconnect into law.
I can see the purpose of the new rules; to protect family life and prevent burn out, stress or other workplace illnesses, but I can't help think it potentially creates a culture which limits the flexibility that a modern workplace should provide employees? I also question why people need a legal ruling to stop them checking their emails, and if this type of ruling will actually impact the isolated bad working cultures that it aims to change.
I have chosen to have long working hours, I like to work on the commute to work and late at night, and enjoy my job so am happy to be connected whenever I'm sitting in front of the TV in the evening. I find it strange that my choice of flexible working hours could be seen to contravene a directive from my employer or even break the law?
It will be interesting to watch how this plays out in France, and I hope if it takes hold in the UK flexibility and freedom of choice are the primary drivers, not a one-size-fits-all solution based on a romantic view of how working life used to be...
But computing and work-life balance expert Anna Cox from University of College London (UCL) says that companies must take into account demands from employees for both protection and flexibility. "For some people, they want to work for two hours every evening, but want to be able to switch off between 3-5 pm when they pick their kids up and are cooking dinner," she told AFP. Others are happy to use their daily commute to get ahead before they arrive in the office, she explained.