French Workers Are Doing Something Groundbreaking That Everybody Else Should Really Imitate
Workers around the world have one thing in common: they’re prone to stress. But one country seems to be advancing ahead of others in terms of making sure that their employees remain healthy.
The Right to Disconnect
A few years ago, the French government began requiring every company that employs upwards of 50 workers to negotiate on a policy to promote the distancing of one’s private lives from work. Dubbed as the ‘right to disconnect’, the new law entitles people to decrease the intrusion of work matters outside working hours. This includes things like answering emails during one’s personal time and the like.
This legal right was reportedly a response to a French Ministry of Labour study that warned against the negative impacts of the burnout that comes with always monitoring work-related messages and emails.
Although whether individual companies or the government are the correct institutions to champion the cause of being able to disconnect digitally is still up for debate, the French’s practice is a reminder that all people need to take a break from digital screens. What more, the European country’s experience has proved to be full of lessons others can learn from.
For example, it’s important that workers set a clear beginning and end in their workdays. This is especially necessary for employees who have flexible work hours that aren’t the traditional 9-to-5. One good practice is to take regular lunch breaks to take a breather from work.
It’s also recommended that workers with flexible hours get the rest of their work hours in the evening when things are quieter. The number of hours people work in a week also has an effect on their productivity. According to a Stanford study, workers’ output experienced a plateau after working for 50 hours a week.
Not Just About Stress
Aside from alleviating work-related stress, having the chance to disconnect may also do wonders for one’s overall mental and physical health. Being connected via social media and other digital platforms for long periods of time reportedly affects people’s abilities from retaining information to changing the way they think.
In the end, the right to disconnect can actually help individuals to improve their lives and even form connections with people. Meanwhile, a study by Kovert Designs found that participants were able to sleep better, improve their memory and ability to maintain eye contact with others after only three days in a ‘digital detox’.
Unfortunately, disconnecting is easier said than done for some. To help one get out of the distraction bubble that is the Internet and social media, it’s recommended that they download apps like DinnerMode. The program prevents users from accessing other phone apps during a set time.
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