Let's Talk: The Right to Disconnect
Updated: Mar 2, 2022
Since the switch from in-office to remote work setting, employees have noted how stressful the transition has made their daily work life for them.
As a result, employees’ mental health has been at stake, and governments are being called on to give employees a legal binding to “disconnect” from their daily work tasks.
While this transition has affected employees, governments have also been affected by this transition as well. In fact, in the US, improvement in mental wellbeing would be associated with about $2m less in healthcare costs, and about $1m less in sickness benefit transfers in the past year. By improving the well-being of employees will in turn lower health care costs.
In the US, improvement in mental wellbeing would be associated with about $2m less in healthcare costs, and about $1m less in sickness benefit transfers in the past year
What does the right to disconnect entail?
For example, bosses will not be able to email or call their employees outside of set working hours. In order to affirm this legal right, any emails sent outside of work hours could be automatically deleted.
The use of digital technology has been heavily used in the transition from in-person to remote work at the start of the pandemic. In this case, technology is now being looked at to improve the well-being and mental health of all employees who have suffered during this time.
Employees in North America hope for laws similar to the ones set in Europe, where, for example, specific hours are set for employees and rules that outline there is no requirement to reply to emails or calls post-work hours.
Prior to the pandemic, it cost the global economy over $1 trillion in lost productivity due to top anxiety and depression.
As a result, especially post-pandemic, employers must ensure that their employees’ well-being comes first. It is essential to create boundaries between employees and their work to maintain a work-life balance in unpredictable times. While work is necessary, individuals’ home lives are as important. To better assist employees with the right to disconnect, hybrid work settings are a great way to start for those who need work-life flexibility.
If employers and managers learn to set boundaries, there wouldn't be a need to impose a right to disconnect law. We currently have a law that allows employees the right to refuse unsafe work. The right to disconnect is really no different.
If you would like to do a health check on your organization's employees-well being and find out whether your employees feel safe to disconnect from work, Retainify can help!
For more information on what Retainify can do for you, book a time to speak with us today through the link in our bio!
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Parkinson, Justin. Working from home: Call to ban out-of-hours emails from bosses. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-57314814
Pomeroy, Robin. Can ‘corporate wellness’ beat a mental health pandemic? This week's Radio Davos. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/05/corporate-wellness-mental-health-wellcometrust-radio-davos/