Take a break from modern life

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We are increasingly living in a world where people are adopting a 24/7 mentality and are never really taking the time to switch off. As the digital age continues to grow there are increasing temptations to draw you to your devices, whether to check your social media accounts or read the news.

Businesses are finding that employees don’t even switch off when they’re on holiday or out for dinner. This may feel like an efficient and responsive culture, but we need to be careful to maintain our usual standards of professional behaviour when communicating with colleagues and clients, not always easy after a bottle of Merlot!

Earlier this year in France, an employment law was put into force that obliges organisations with more than 50 workers to start negotiations to define the rights of employees to ignore their smartphones. Overuse of devices is one of the most common reasons for staff burn out, so this regulation is intended to combat the “always-on” work culture which has led to an increase in unpaid overtime.

In economically challenging times staff can worry about taking a stand and switching off their devices so it’s up to businesses to be responsible. Some organisations may rely on employees to still pick up work whilst they are off as they don’t have a suitable replacement. This means that employees are never really having time away from work which could harm their overall professionalism and well-being.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix to change cultural behaviours but here are a few things you can do to improve your workplace:

• Hold regular staff meetings, including group and individual meetings. -This way employees have a place to air any grievances.

• Outline job expectations and requirements. -This will help to motivate employees and help them to understand their role.

• Ensure you have provision in place to cover staff absences, that way employees aren’t coming back from holiday to deal with problems

• Encourage workers to switch off from work during their holidays.

www.theguardian.com/money/2016/dec/31/french-workers-win-legal-right-to-avoid-checking -work-email-out-of-hours