France Has Banned Work Email on the Weekends, and So Should We – Vogue

There’s so much to love about France: fries, fancy state daycare, and, now, an official ban on work email after-hours. Embedded in El Khomri, France’s controversial new labor reform package, which allows companies to up the country’s cherished 35-hour work week, is a measure protecting employees’ fundamental “right to disconnect.” The provision makes it unlawful for companies with more than 50 employees to send emails outside the traditional workday.The new French rule is groundbreaking because it acknowledges that technology has made the modern workplace into a soul-sucking, potentially unhealthy place: A poll by software company Adobe last year found that email is an addiction for American workers: 87 percent of people check work email outside of work, and 50 percent check it on vacation (despite studies that have consistently found that phone addiction triggers stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep). Historically, when work conditions undergo major shifts, governments respond in kind: With the rise of the Industrial Revolution came child labor laws; after the Great Depression, Social Security. The French measure falls under an article called “The Adaptation of Work Rights to the Digital Era.” Your move, America.Here, of course, the rule is that there is no rule. Company accounts are synced to every iPhone and obsessively checked alongside Snapchat and Twitter and Tinder—early mornings, nights, weekends, and vacations be damned. (Disclaimer: It’s not always the boss who’s the culprit; employees can be just as guilty.) After-hours emails in the event of emergencies or VIP projects make sense, and in some professions—doctors on call, war reporters—it can’t be avoided. For the rest of us, France’s new mandate is a great reminder to get off work email and get a life (or, as the French might say, some joie de vivre).

Source: France Has Banned Work Email on the Weekends, and So Should We – Vogue

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