Thursday Thought: France Bans Weekend Work Emails

Sending work emails after hours is now illegal in France. In part with the country's El Khomri law, the new amendment is in place to reduce the impact of a constantly plugged-in lifestyle. 

“The development of information and communication technologies, if badly managed or regulated, can have an impact on the health of workers,” the new law states. “Among them, the burden of work and the informational overburden, the blurring of the borders between private life and professional life, are risks associated with the usage of digital technology.”

The new bill is also encouraging employers to create their own formal policies to limit how much work is done after hours, especially if it could starting affecting employees' personal lives. 

While El Khomri law does have a few benefits, not everyone is onboard. The labour law would allow for individual companies to negotiate conditions for new hires, allowing them to cut jobs and lengthen the standard 35-hour workweek (which was put into law in 2000). As a result, massive protests have broken out in France as people are worried about the labour reform diminishing worker and union rights. 

However, they might have the right idea with this email ban. While putting it into law might be a bit extreme, companies should consider how being so connected is hurting employee wellbeing. Maybe try a company-wide Sunday email ban as an experiment, and take it from there. I'm sure employees will appreciate the break and will help them fight burnout.