France's new "Disconnect Law"

Posted by  $  Thoritsu 1 year ago to Legislation
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New laws make it ok to ignore after hours e-mails, texts and phone calls. 35 hr work weeks and 6 week vacation.

Many people don't like after hours pestering, and prefer to disconnect. In the US it seems like a tentative approach to after hours work, depending on one's role and the company. I am pleased to remain connected for non-trivial communications, and more pleased to be able to fill otherwise wasted time (in lines, doctor's offices, commercials...) staying abreast of work, that otherwise will consume more valuable time.

I believe we need even more tools to better communication and engage a broader group of people's at work. Millennials just aren't 8-5 people, and they will make up ~70% of the workforce in a few years. In addition, communications and engagement are an area real efficiency gains are possible. Video conferences are a huge timesaver. What could be next?

I am on a board of directors with a few French executives. Can't wait to discuss this with them in the call I have today at 1pm eastern, 7pm France. I suspect these guys will view it dimly, but proudly at the same time.
SOURCE URL: http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/02/technology/france-office-email-workers-law


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  • Posted by CTYankee 1 year ago
    I don't expect people to continue their workday into the overnight period, unless they want to, or are working non-traditional hours.

    But if I NEED to contact an employee I do NOT recognize their 'right' to be disconnected.

    Sure they can ignore my texts calls, emails, etc after hours, but since I do not make a habit out of doing it, when I do, I deem it IMPORTANT, and failing to respond to an emergency WILL have consequences for the employee.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      That's my perspective as well. As people move up, they need to understand their actions affect much and many; therefore, they need to be ready to support.

      I typically apologize profusely if the reason for my call was in my control. If it is an uncontrollable market force, then we are in it together.
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  • Posted by awebb 1 year ago
    There may not be a "Disconnect" law in the US but not buying into "work-life" balance is frowned on at many startups here. Example: A few years ago, I was not offered a job because the company thought I did not understand or respect work-life balance. No joke.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      You are quite right. There is a huge issue in retaining Millennials without flexibilities previously unheard of.

      This was played at our Corporate Offsite last year, by the legal/ethics guy. It was for humor, but there is always truth in humor. Millenials will be a huge part of our workforce in a few years, and we need to be ready to excite, retain and inspire them.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz0o9...
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 year ago
    In my world Slack, Google Drive, and email are running in the background on our phones all the time.

    I admire how some Europeans are able to focus completely one work for about 7 hours, intense focus, and then just turn it off. There's something to be said of that, just as there's something good about their tiny portion sizes. When I'm there I feel weird carrying a big 22 oz metallic mug of weak coffee and eating a burrito while walking. I see them going to work, walking on walk paths or bike paths, completely focused on what they're doing at the moment.

    I admire it, but the first thing I do when I get back is fill my mug with $0.99 American coffee from the gas station by the airport and listen to audio while I drive my car. I sure as hell don't want the gov't mandating which approach to take.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      Do you also think Europeans get hung up on procedural things than the US? I certainly see this in the Italians, French and Germans. They also defer to people with superior educational credentials more than we do. To overstate the difference, their PhDs are always right. In the US, a PhD is known to be a commitment, but you have to be right to be right. In some cases PhDs can have a negative connotation as academics.

      I agree with you. It is nice to experience the differences, but nicer still to get home.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 1 year ago
        It could just be the orgs I've worked with, but what I see is them wanting their supervisors to tell them what to do. I think the attitude is, "I'm not going to get that much reward if I'm right, but it will be a huge hassle if I take a decision that's wrong. So there's no logical reason for me to get passionate about this. If I can get someone else to make the decision, I will. We all go home at 5pm sharp and do the stuff that really matters."
        This problem exists in large organizations in the US, but when I see it here people are uncomfortable with it. If they say, "no one wants to take any risks around here," it's obviously a criticism, whereas in Europe that could be a neutral statement of fact.
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  • Posted by Dobrien 1 year ago
    Hi Thoritsu,
    The last time I had an hourly wage was 1974 as a busboy. I have never had a paid vacation. I earn commissions, I find my own customers. If I earn money for my employer I get a cut. I provide my own office and infrastructure. I meet or communicate with my clients on their terms and time schedule. My reality is what I make it.
    But thanks to regulations it is almost impossible to grow my client base.
    With that said my wife and I have been
    " facetiming " with our daughter and granddaughter and just love to see them even though they are 700 miles away it is much better that a phone call or email.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      That is a nice way to operate if you have the charisma and stomach for the income uncertainties.
      I left my first real job to consult. It was an hourly rate though. It was great and I could've done that a long time. I got lonely sitting at home writing specifications and doing analyses 75% of the time. That said I also traveled all over the world and was introduced to many foreign companies and cultures.
      Now I'm back in the office, but the work is interesting.
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  • Posted by tentoone 1 year ago
    If the job needs after-hours communication the it fine. Please don't do it since millennials like it. They like to do many things that's not productive. I find off hour emails aren't as productive anyway unless it's for providing info.
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  • Posted by Domminigan 1 year ago
    I wish I could say that I am surprised by the law, but I am not. I am offended by a law that takes such steps to micromanage and oppress the people generating the income.

    Where I work at my main job, I have a company phone. I am labor, not management. Select managers and coworkers have my personal phone. I always have my personal phone during work hours, so it is my primary contact for those who have it. I am always available in this way for those who need, and I have the buffer of those who are paid to be on all the time to filter out what is needed for a 3am phone call.
    I still accept the phone calls even when on vacation because without my action, my job would often be harder, or my customers would have a poor experience.
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      I am in management, not labor, and use a very similar approach. You are clearly a hard dedicated worker. Hopefully your employers recognize this and the loop is properly closed.
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      • Posted by Domminigan 1 year ago
        I am positioned in the lowest job category of a large corporation in the service industry. Two of my direct management recognize my work while excepting for rare moments, the rest ignore me. In my current corporate environment, I must appreciate it this way and hope that this will remain the situation.
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  • Posted by term2 1 year ago
    Europeans are socialist liberals, who decry having to work at all and make money. Let them be as they want to be, I say, and reap the rewards.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 1 year ago
    One caution I have is that people need time away from work to deal with everyday life and to decompress. Studies have shown for decades that living at work leads to quick burn-out. I suspect that this is also one of the reasons that millennials have one of the highest job-hopping rates of any generation. While I don't support governmental laws such as these, I think it is in the best interests of employers and employees to make sure that while they are at work, they are work-productive and when they are off-work, they are off work.

    I will also be interested to see the lawsuits that come from someone texting about a work problem and getting into an accident. Who's liable - the individual or the company because the person was conducting company business?
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    • Posted by  $  1 year ago
      The decision was on the part of the individual. The responsibility is the individual. However, that is my opinion, and I think Apple is equally not culpable for a guy killing a 5-yr old girl.

      While I agree work life balance is important, everyone is different in the ratio. In addition, some people prefer real time off. Other (like me) prefer flexibility to go in late some days, work late others, work weekends sometimes and take Monday's off, all while killing wasted time on e-mails.
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      • Posted by ArtIficiarius 1 year ago
        Perhaps not center-line, but ...
        I have had my fill of business-involved removal of personal liability - for anything! There really should be no such thing as Sovereign Immunity. Any felony or tort committed by any individual of any rank must be treated as the responsibility of that individual. Any business entity that attempts to shield that individual should be subject to liquidation, including any instance of government guilty of that action.
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