Why It is Vital to Disconnect From Your Job After Work Hours
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This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur due to this process.
Imagine this scene: a person who arrives at the office does their best from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m., and when their work hours are up they go home happy and don’t know about work until the next day. Fortunately or unfortunately, this scene becomes less and less tied to reality depending on the lens through which it is viewed.
Until a few years ago, a company’s employees – even managers – kept working and could enjoy their free time without receiving calls or emails every 30 minutes. However, digital technology has changed this situation by 180 degrees: Today, every employee who owns a smartphone is bombarded with calls, messages and emails outside of their working hours.
This is always up to date – which refers to quality, always available for work matters and being closely connected to digital technology – is pushed forward by several companies and valued by more than one boss (because an employee who his Loves job, never parting with it … right?). But what are the consequences if the boss’s calls are answered at midnight? More than that, how can we deal with this situation?
The importance of pulling a brake
Always a step ahead in terms of labor law, a few months ago France passed a law that allows workers in certain sectors to ignore the emails they receive when they leave the office. This has been stated in various media in order to meet the “required time of rest and separation”.
However, the situation in Mexico and other Latin American countries is diametrically different: the line between work and personal life is becoming increasingly blurred, and when something is valued, it is not leisure time, but work in excess.
Focus on your employees’ results, not the time they spend in the office. Spending more than 14 hours in front of a computer is not synonymous with efficiency or proactivity.
Learn to respect your employees’ free time. Maybe you are in love with your job and can’t even leave it out of the office. But not everyone has to feel just like you. Avoid calling your co-workers and sending them emails or WhatsApps (yes, they count too) outside of working hours unless clearly necessary.
Ask yourself, “Can it wait for tomorrow?” It doesn’t matter how close your relationship is with an employee: if the matter can wait until the next day, wait. At this moment, if you remembered it and fear that you will forget it, write it down on your agenda or ask your phone to remind you!
Maybe you give your coworkers a cell phone from work and that’s fine. But be careful: this doesn’t mean they have to be available to you 24/7. The same rules apply.
If you are an employee …
First, make sure you have a right to enjoy your free time. The fact that you are making plans with your family or friends does not make you an irresponsible worker, but a normal person. Or not?
In your free time, and especially on weekends, reduce the frequency with which you check your cell phone. And let go of the talent of reading your email! It is often our fault that we cannot completely part with our work.
If your boss calls you after hours, sometimes you can ignore him, but often you have to answer. So talking to him is a better option. Ask them to solve work problems while you are in the office as you will feel much better able to deal with them.
Learn to draw a line and say “no”. Often times, your boss will value your free time knowing you value it. On the contrary, if you make it clear to him that your personal life is not that important and that you are always available for work, then you can call him whenever he wants. Ultimately, it all depends on you.
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