No More 2 A.M. Conference Calls in France

Don't you wish you lived in France?  They just passed a law there making it illegal for your boss to text, email or call you after-hours.

According to Alan Cleaver at, "A new agreement between employers and labor unions now makes it illegal for managers to contact staff about 'work-related matters' outside of standard business hours."

Think about it.  No more vacations spent listening at the beach for the ding of a text or the buzz of your cell. No more cancelled dinners out with your spouse to work on a critical report that came up right before you left the office.  No more conference calls at 2 a.m. because your superiors work in another country.

Ah, paradise!

Employees must have "the opportunity to disconnect from remote communication tools at their disposal," according to the agreement, Cleaver reports. "In other words, for businesses to comply with working hour rules, staff must have the option to turn their devices off and not be accessible when outside of the office -- and can safely ignore emails or calls without consequence when the working day is over," he notes.

So how would you like it?  I know some people who'd rather work in a coal mine than have to turn off their cell phones.  Or not have them ring at least once a night with something urgent from work.  (I admit I could be one of those.)

But remember when we went home and that was pretty much it (I know, I know, the dark ages). But I recall when I first started working, when email was just getting going, that if I checked my computer once a night, that was a lot.  Then I lugged home a portable computer (in those days, as big as a sewing machine) and I began working a little more after hours.  Now I check my email probably 10 times a night before going to bed.  And I only work part-time!  

Something happened along the way with the miracle of being reached at all times.  It's cut into our free time, our mind time.  I can't rest if I think one of my clients might be trying to reach me after working hours.

Are we doing it to ourselves?  Yes.  But work does it, too.  It will be interesting to see what happens to business (and the economy) in France when people start shutting off their cell phones at 5.


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Did You Know Emojis Could Do THAT?