Should You and Your Staff be available 24/7

On 1 January 2017, France employees gained the legal right to avoid work emails outside working hours.  The new law, dubbed the “right to disconnect”, applies to companies with more than 50 workers.  These companies will be obliged to draw up a charter of good conduct, setting out the hours when staff are not supposed to send or answer emails.

Foundations for the new law support the premises that employees who are expected to check and reply to their work emails out of hours are not being paid fairly for their overtime, and that the practice carries a risk of stress, burnout, sleep problems and relationship difficulties.

With the increasing convenience of technology, lines are blurred in relation to “office hours” and “out of office hours”.

As reported in the Courier Mail on 1 January 2017 (Office Emails on Holidays a Rising Trend, Melanie Burgess), as many as three in five Australians check work emails while on holidays.

So, should you and your staff be available 24/7?

What we at Balanix Solutions strive to achieve is a balance between work and home, something we encourage clients and colleagues to also strive for.  While in the short-term there may well be productivity gains in being available 24/7, the hidden cost can include;

  • setting long term expectations of availability;
  • kids not spending quality time with parents and thinking that is the norm (which then becomes a generational issue);
  • break-down of relationships ;
  • burn-out; and
  • Increased absenteeism.

For those who believe that they could not operate a business without being available 24/7 ask your family and friends how they feel about having their time interrupted by the constant attention to technology.

David Balwin Tax Accounting CFO Business Advice