France was the first country to legislate on the right to disconnect by registering it in the labor code from January 2017. But what exactly does that really mean? How has it affected French employees today? With the approach of the summer holidays, PageGroup, specialized recruitment and temp agency, publishes the results of the latest edition of their study Employees and disconnection, which displays that the workforce's awareness is in progress - especially among managers.
When the domino effect threatens the work/life balance of managers
While 75% of employees say they are satisfied with their work-life balance, only 62% of managers say they are, a figure down by 7% compared to 2017. The decline is attributed in particular to the introduction en mass of digitization that has led to more and smarter tech. Phones and laptops are just one example: 87% of managers come equipped with these professional tools, whose impact is perceived more and more negatively as time goes on. For 59% of managers, these objects have a negative impact on the balance of life (vs. 31% in 2017) and 64% would like to be able to disconnect more.
A gradual but very real disconnection
In 2017, 75% of managers claimed to work during holidays and 87% on weekends. In 2019, that number has shifted: only 66% now report keeping tabs on their work emails during holidays, though 79% admitted to working from home on weekends. It's a particular rhythm that 32% of managers commit to, either due to reasons of convenience, or simply because they feel obligated.
Managers also seem to be detaching themselves more and more from the tools that bind them to their work. Thus, while 68% of them were said to check their emails every day, even on weekends, that figure has reduced to 48% - and the trend doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. The advent of smartphones remains, meanwhile, more and more of a commonplace necessity in the office, at home, at night, and on weekends, though its numbers have dropped considerably as well. Only 33% of executives with managerial responsibilities say they respond to business calls every day, even on weekends, compared to a sizeable 60% in 2017 - a difference of nearly 30%.
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