France today took a giant leap forward in handicapping its place in the global market even further. In a legally binding labour agreement, workers are now required to switch off their work phones at the end of their allotted work schedule. In addition they will not be allowed to access work related content on their computers.
France already has some of the least strenuous working conditions in Europe with a legally mandated 35 hour work week that they enacted in 1999. Germany has also has implemented a policy of requiring workers to switch off when they clock out.
The new policy will affect millions of workers, not only of French companies, but also global companies with French offices such as Google and Facebook, as well as financial companies such as Deloitte and Price Waterhouse Cooper.
The 24/7 “Always connected” business culture that personal communication has enabled has been blamed for contributing to the stress levels of employees. The intention behind the new labor agreement is to prevent intrusion into the personal life of workers by corporate email, with time away from work being fenced off from invasive corporate managers so as to protect workers from burning out.