Should we really answer the boss's calls at midnight or on vacation?
Imagine the following scene: A person who comes to the office does their best from 8 to 5 and, when their work hours are over, they happily go home and don't know about work until the next day. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the lens through which you see yourself, this scene is less and less attached to reality.
Until a few years ago, workers at a company – yes, even managers – kept working hours and could enjoy their free time without receiving phone calls or emails every 30 minutes. But digital technology has come to give this situation a 180 degree turn: Today, every employee with a smartphone is exposed to being bombarded with calls, messages and emails outside of their working hours.
This always on state – which refers to the quality of being always available for work issues and is intimately linked with digital technology – is promoted by several companies and valued by more than one boss (because an employee who loves his job never disconnect from it … right?). But what are the consequences of answering the boss's calls at midnight? And even more, how can we face this situation?
The importance of putting a brake
Always a step ahead in the field of labor legislation, France issued a few months ago a law that allows workers in certain sectors to ignore emails they receive when leaving the office. This, was explained in various media, in order to respect the “mandatory rest and disconnection time”.
However, the situation in Mexico and other Latin American countries is diametrically different: the line between work and private life is increasingly blurred, and if something is valued it is not free time, but excess work.
Focus on the results of your employees, and not the time they spend in the office. Spending more than 14 hours in front of a computer is not synonymous with being efficient or proactive.
Learn to respect the free time of your workers . You may be in love with your job, and you can't even leave it outside the office. But not everyone has to feel the same way as you do. Avoid calling your employees, sending emails or whatsapps (yes, they also count) outside of working hours, unless it is strictly necessary.
Ask yourself, “Can it wait until tomorrow?” . No matter how close your relationship is to an employee: if the matter can wait for the next day, wait. If you remembered at the time and you fear that you will forget it, write it down in your agenda or ask your cell phone to remind you!
Maybe you give your employees a cell phone from work, and that's great. But beware: this does not mean that they have to be available to you 24/7. The same rules apply.
If you are an employee …
First of all, convince yourself that you have the right to enjoy your free time. The fact that you make plans with your family or friends does not make you an irresponsible worker, but a normal person. Or not?
During your free time, and especially on weekends, reduce the number of times you check your cell phone . And take that trick out of checking your email! Many times we are to blame for failing to completely disconnect from our work.
If your boss calls you outside of business hours, you may be able to ignore him sometimes, but many times you will be forced to answer. So talking to him will be a better option. Kindly ask them to resolve work issues while you are in the office, as you will feel much more apt to deal with them.
Learn how to draw a line and say “no”. Many times, your boss will value your free time if he knows that you value it. On the contrary, if you give him to understand that your personal life is not so important and that you are always available for work matters, you will allow him to call you whenever he wants. Ultimately, it all depends on you.