Imagine this. He went offline for the day, he plans to go out to eat and at that moment, his boss asks him to attend an urgent meeting. Does it look familiar to you? To compensate for this loss of work-life balance, Portugal has introduced a new law making it illegal for bosses to contact their employees after working hours. And professionals at home are fully supportive of these measures, but feel they cannot be put into practice here.
“I don’t think the work environment in India supports this culture at all. I always get calls from work after I log out and end up working all the time. Our legal contract says 8.5 hours a day, but that’s not the case, ”says Siddharth Roy, a Rohini advertising professional.
Ireland also has a similar “right to log out” policy requiring employers to use pop-up messages to remind people not to reply to work emails after hours. Similar rules also exist in the UK, Germany and France.
Working from home has made it worse, agrees Esha Gill, Product Manager at Patparganj, adding: “The concept of working hours has disappeared from my dictionary since I started working from home. How strange to say that I have left the office for those after-hours work calls. Now every call I get after 7 is super urgent and will only be closed then. After work kahin jaane ka option hi nahi raha “.
Going out after work is rarely possible in such a situation. And on the days when one manages to write down the time to go out, they often find themselves taking calls from wherever they are. “In my previous company, when I finished work and went out to a salon or restaurant, I always ran to the bathroom to answer calls. Especially during the WFH, the work is never done, ”says Yuvraaj Singh, Operations Executive at Surajmal Vihar.
For companies dealing with clients from countries around the world, the time zone is a challenge when considering implementing such measures, says Kunal Mathur, director of a multinational at Gurugram. “We are serving clients from all over the world, problems can happen at any time. We need to respond to the customer in case we lose something, so things must be in place. But as a policy, if all goes well, I don’t bother my team once it goes offline, ”he adds.
Dr. Imran Noorani, a consultant chief psychologist at a Delhi hospital, states that one should divide the time for personal and professional commitments. “We need to segregate time for work and personal life, otherwise anxiety and stress creep in and performance drops. In the long term, this will be a loss for an organization, ”he adds.
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