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John The Pessimist

Right To 'Disconnect'

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An interesting development in the area of out of hours working. Unfortunately I can't see it coming here in any but the most enlightened employers. 

It will be interesting if they ascribe any economic cost to this change.

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/french-workers-win-right-to-stop-checking-email-out-of-hours-1.2922504

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Fortunately, the UK is so digitally backward that there are still lots of places where you can not get a decent mobile signal so when your boss tries to phone you can just pretend you were in one of the dead zones.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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10 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

Fortunately, the UK is so digitally backward that ther are still lots of places where you can not get a decent mobile signal so when your boss tries to phone you can just pretend you were in one of the dead zones.

One of my first phones was on one to one.  Reception was so bad it was known as one to no one :lol:

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The simplest way to deal with attempted encroachment into personal life beyond contrated hours is to simply say 'No.'

This does not exclude the occasional reasonable request if a task needs completing urgently, but if it's regularly anything beyond that and it's either

'This is becoming a routine. Henceforth, my overtime rate is £xxx'

Or

'We should look to improve our time management/resources if tasks cannot be completed in working hours. I don't reduce my effective hourly rate'.

Many will say this isn't realistic and 'you're lucky to have a job, you wont last long etc'. That is crap. If you're a pushover they don't respect you. You set your own boundaries.

The key lesson for the worker to build up the resilience is don't get yourself in a position where you can't refuse to do this. Get a buffer that allows you to stand firm when the urine is being extracted. 

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52 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

Fortunately, the UK is so digitally backward that ther are still lots of places where you can not get a decent mobile signal so when your boss tries to phone you can just pretend you were in one of the dead zones.

Thousands live in these dead zones......thousands more pass through them every day.....

Really comical when drive into a strong signal and mobile goes mad pinging all texts sent over time together, sorry what was it you wanted me to do last week?....why do we not have roaming?;)

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Frugal Git said:

The simplest way to deal with attempted encroachment into personal life beyond contrated hours is to simply say 'No.'

This does not exclude the occasional reasonable request if a task needs completing urgently, but if it's regularly anything beyond that and it's either

'This is becoming a routine. Henceforth, my overtime rate is £xxx'

Or

'We should look to improve our time management/resources if tasks cannot be completed in working hours. I don't reduce my effective hourly rate'.

Many will say this isn't realistic and 'you're lucky to have a job, you wont last long etc'. That is crap. If you're a pushover they don't respect you. You set your own boundaries.

The key lesson for the worker to build up the resilience is don't get yourself in a position where you can't refuse to do this. Get a buffer that allows you to stand firm when the urine is being extracted. 

Great in principle but only the lucky minority have the clout to do that ,the majority are all to easily replaced when there`s 10`s or 100` s of people waiting in the wings willing to comply  

Until demand outstrips supply it will be this way for the majority this ain`t going to happen any time soon  

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14 minutes ago, long time lurking said:

Great in principle but only the lucky minority have the clout to do that ,the majority are all to easily replaced when there`s 10`s or 100` s of people waiting in the wings willing to comply  

Until demand outstrips supply it will be this way for the majority this ain`t going to happen any time soon  

And this is what 'they' want. A nice compliant workforce that will work for nothing.  Nothing like a reserve army of labour to keep us all in our place 

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10 minutes ago, One-percent said:

And this is what 'they' want. A nice compliant workforce that will work for nothing.  Nothing like a reserve army of labour to keep us all in our place 

Yep that`s what it`s all about ,and it`s no accident or unintended consequence  

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Who does having complete mobile coverage really benefit?

Luckily it's very hard for me to be pestered by work outside work time (the place is locked up if nothing else).

It's a basic human right not to be contactable IMO, and for no-one to have a clue where you are. And I just find it weird that anyone would want to be contactable all the time (or able to contact).

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59 minutes ago, Frugal Git said:

Many will say this isn't realistic and 'you're lucky to have a job, you wont last long etc'. That is crap. If you're a pushover they don't respect you. You set your own boundaries.

Unless you're high up you're either a pushover or pushed out.

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4 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Who does having complete mobile coverage really benefit?

Luckily it's very hard for me to be pestered by work outside work time (the place is locked up if nothing else).

It's a basic human right not to be contactable IMO, and for no-one to have a clue where you are. And I just find it weird that anyone would want to be contactable all the time (or able to contact).

Apparently for some, if they work for someone they not only own you, your work, but they also own your time.....fair enough, but own time is and should be very hard to get and expensive.;)

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6 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Unless you're high up you're either a pushover or pushed out.

Honestly, I don't believe that's true in the types of jobs where being 'always on' is flavour of the day.

Yep, in what people unkindly define as unskilled jobs, grotty managers will bully people and make it known there's a million and one people who can replace you - very true. However, those aren't the jobs where you'll be checking email late.

In the jobs where that applies, my experience is the pressure to be a hero, indulge in presenteeism or theinsane game of who can end the latest email is almost always caused by workers who just want to look committed so they get their little pat on the back. 

In these jobs, the real respect is earned by being productive in a genuine manner, and far from being mutually exclusive with boundary setting, it's probably correlated to it.

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2 minutes ago, Frugal Git said:

Honestly, I don't believe that's true in the types of jobs where being 'always on' is flavour of the day.

Yep, in what people unkindly define as unskilled jobs, grotty managers will bully people and make it known there's a million and one people who can replace you - very true. However, those aren't the jobs where you'll be checking email late.

In the jobs where that applies, my experience is the pressure to be a hero, indulge in presenteeism or theinsane game of who can end the latest email is almost always caused by workers who just want to look committed so they get their little pat on the back. 

In these jobs, the real respect is earned by being productive in a genuine manner, and far from being mutually exclusive with boundary setting, it's probably correlated to it.

That scenario is creeping up the ladder rapidly ,it`s well past the skilled worker grade already and IMO it has already made it`s way into the `professorial `range ,by the time most realise it it`s to late.....the i`m alright Jacks of today will wake up one day and realise they are not,it will be only the lucky few at the tops of their trees that will be able to play the game you outline

People don`t see it coming and refuse to even ackowledge the possibility of it happening to them  

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1 hour ago, long time lurking said:

That scenario is creeping up the ladder rapidly ,it`s well past the skilled worker grade already and IMO it has already made it`s way into the `professorial `range ,by the time most realise it it`s to late.....the i`m alright Jacks of today will wake up one day and realise they are not,it will be only the lucky few at the tops of their trees that will be able to play the game you outline

People don`t see it coming and refuse to even ackowledge the possibility of it happening to them  

Reminds me of this:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

MARTIN NIEMÖLLE

 

 

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Presumably if you can't disconnect and they make a habit of ringing you out of hours then the favour can be returned (with colleagues who are also subjected to this) - and whenever possible also towards senior management and director level?   

On the basis of being conscientious, responsible and doing a good job etc.  For example sudden "ideas" on "improving the company" that you must communicate and discuss etc.

You could always throw in a few Consumer Survey, solar panel, double glazing, computer fault finding, PPI, free boiler, stock exchange tipster, change your phone/energy company and nobody on the other end but keep them hanging on sales etc calls (remember the canned music).

Edited by billybong

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Yes, I'm a ruthless bugger. I tell myself to take no shit from anyone on my days off, all the time. ;)

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In France specifically i think this case was a trigger for a lot of the emoyee protection goodwill - after restructuring, including forcing former admin managers into sales roles, 35 France Telecom staff commited suicide in a year.

http://m.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/05/france_telecom_chief_investigated/

Subsequent to this FT was one of the first companies to disable its blackberry servers at night (something like 8pm to 6am) to stop staff being emailed and harassed through the night.

To my mind It paints an interesting picture of a large group of people whose job *is* their life and changes to their job impacting them fundamentally. After all they could simply have found another job than killed themselves...but workplaces and employers can institutaionalise their staff in the same was, say, prisions can. I suppose this also helps understand the 'presenteeism' we are talking about. 

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