It’s no secret that keeping workers happy can lead to numerous positive effects like being more loyal to the company and being more willing to work for the common good. In the end, these contribute to a company’s success.
However, the threat of burnout due to being connected all the time may prevent business owners from reaping these benefits. The French have found a solution to this dilemma though, and employers from other countries might want to take notes on how they’re solving it.
The Ability to Disconnect
The French government has begun requiring companies, which employ 50 or more people, to agree on a scheme to decrease the intrusion that work has on the personal lives of its employees.
This provision is known as the right to disconnect and was reportedly mandated in response to a study warning against the negative impacts that ‘info-obesity’ has on people. The term ‘info-obesity’ refers to the burnout, stress, and sleeplessness that result from the habit of monitoring work-related messages.
While this law is certainly good news to the French workforce, it’s important to note that it doesn’t have any sanction yet for companies that fail to implement it in their offices.
There’s also the criticism that the measures employers can comply with it remain to be quite vague. In the end, though, this new right to disconnect has effectively risen public awareness against having a virtual 24/7 workweek.
Work Hours & Productivity
Despite its shortcomings, employers and company owners from the rest of the world can benefit from following the example of the French. For example, a Stanford study has found that worker productivity suffers from a plateau after employees clock in 50 hours a week (10 hours more than the weekly hours of a standard 9-to-5).
That said, it declines even further when the 60-hour mark is reached. That said requiring people to be able to answer work emails round the clock may lead to something similar.
More Than Preventing Burnout
Allowing employees to fully disconnect also means allowing them to improve their physical and mental well-being. After all, spending too much time on the web, especially on social media, and glued to gadgets does one harm.
According to author Nicholas Carr, constant use of the Internet leads to negative impacts on people’s way of thinking and ability to retain information. In the end, disconnecting can help employees maintain their health and happiness, which can then lead to better performance at work.