What the French?! You read that right. And also, we’re moving. Okay, JK. But we’re not JKing about that other thing we said. Work emails after 6pm are officially banned in France thanks to a new labour agreement in effect.
The new law means that employees can turn off their work emails once they’re OOO for the night. And their bosses can’t bug ’em. If this news sent you searching for a one-way ticket, the backstory behind it will really make you bid adieu to your current cubicle. The French already enjoy a sensible 35 hour work week (!) and realized that the call to answer emails and work on projects after they clocked out was starting to extend that significantly. Employers’ federations and unions signed a legally-binding labour agreement that requires about a million staffers in the technology and consultancy sectors (including French offices of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and Pricewaterhouse Coopers) to kill work-related correspondence once they clock out.
With a 35 hour work week and a work day that (legally, remember) stops at 6pm on the dot, we’re talking a significant scale tipper for work-life balance. What would you do with those nighttime hours email-free? We could have some more time to get creative, start a new project or two, maybe even take “that class” we’ve been wanting to take. It would also mean we would have to be a lot more productive during those 35 hours in-office. Eh, as Katniss would say — we would still volunteer as tribute. And if berets, baguettes and bikes ain’t your thang — there’s always Berlin. Out of hours working has been banned in Germany since last August.
Do you answer emails after you leave the office? What do you think of this law? Sound off below!