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Respecting Employee Time By Unplugging From Work

07 July 2021

Do you really have to call that employee at 1 in the morning?

Every individual who possesses a smartphone today is vulnerable to being harassed with calls, texts, and emails outside business hours. This always-on disposition, which pertains to being continuously available for work concerns and strongly related to technology, is driven by multiple organizations and valued by more than one employer because an individual who loves his job never disappears from it. Right? But what are the repercussions?

Working from home may be a wonderful experience for both people and businesses. Remote and flexible work has numerous advantages, including higher productivity, cheaper costs, environmental impacts, and schedule flexibility, to name a few. However, there is a significant disadvantage when an employee's right to unplug from the office is violated. That is a regular occurrence when bosses do not regard their employees' freedom to disengage from the workplace once the workday is over.

Work-life balance is an essential element in developing teams that are motivated, productive, and devoted. If you want your workforce to turn up and do their best work, ensure they have enough time each day to take time off from work and unplug. HR and management's responsibility is to urge those people to disengage and take the time they need to relax, refuel, and avoid burnout. When this occurs, your employees — and your organization — will prosper.


Perhaps you're so in love with your job that you can't just leave it at the workplace. However, not everybody needs to feel that way. Outside of office time, avoid calling or writing messages or going on Messenger to your employees unless absolutely required. Ask yourself if it can wait for tomorrow. It makes no difference how connected you are to an employee: if the situation can wait until the next day, do so. If you recall something at the time and are afraid about forgetting it, jot it down in your calendar or ask your smartphone to notify you. Respect your employees' downtime. 

People's enthusiasm for their life and jobs is like a bank account. They must generate energy reserves by devoting time to activities that allow them to "charge up" to fuel activities such as work. If people do not do this, they may find themselves in an overdraft scenario, in which they cannot spend on their job and life activities — and this is when burnout, stress, and despair can engulf them.

If your employees don't withdraw from working, they won't be able to "replenish their batteries," which can lead to disinterest, poor performance, or all the other indicators of burnout. Employees must manage their energy, time, and focus — all of which are limited resources — to balance work and life. Employees clearly need to detach, and part of your responsibility as a manager is to urge them to do so.


There are numerous reasons why backing down can be a sensible decision if your business is trying to explain away expecting work to be done and after work hours:

It prevents burnout

Going offline is a strategy to avoid burnout and return to a paradigm that is more akin to a typical eight-hour workday, even if just digitally. Encourage employees to unplug from their jobs to overcome the stress, depression, and fatigue that are frequently associated with a constantly connected world of work.

It supports flexibility

Suppose your business is serious about establishing flexible working. In that case, a "disconnect" rule can clarify your aim, help support it for all staff at all levels, and plant your support for flexible work on the ground level. Employees will understand that, rather than having a never-ending working time, they have some control over when the day ends and begins and when the task is completed.

It helps employees perform their best

When it comes to working, a very well-rested individual is often more equipped to go full throttle. Individuals who have never been “off the clock” may feel as if they have never honestly had time to relax, which can contribute to poor job quality, more blunders, and mishaps, all of which can have an impact on your institution's overall effectiveness.

It respects privacy

The assumption that your workers must be ready to answer business requests around the clock, even while on leave, demonstrates contempt for employee privacy and can result in unforeseen employee reactions. Managers who bombard staff with emails and phone calls during family occasions, or even during meal times or leisure time, may face employee retention issues if workers seek to go to other firms where their time is valued.


Have Boundaries

The WFH trend is likely to continue. According to studies, by the end of 2021, 25-30% of the US workforce will be working at home multiple days each week. Unplugging from work might be far more difficult when your home is also your workplace and vice versa. That is why it is critical to urge your staff to establish strict boundaries between their professional and personal lives. Managers should make it clear that they want their workforce to separate between work and personal time. A clear remote work rule establishes your organization's guidelines for when work is anticipated to be completed and when the workday begins and finishes is one of the standard practices to explore.

Avoid Retaliation

Employees are shielded from penalties if they exercise their freedom to disengage from work, which is a significant aspect of rules passed in different European countries. These restrictions contain safeguards against retribution, such as willfully ignoring an employee for advancements, salary raises, or inclusion in significant projects because the person exercised their right to unplug.


Even though some of your employees may choose to work their regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift and unplug in the evenings, others may have kids at home. It may make much more sense for such employees to disconnect during the day because they can spend time with family members and then tackle professional projects after their children have gone to sleep. Allow your employees to set their work hours each day, if possible. Letting your employees choose their hours allows us to engage and disengage with their work on their grounds, which can help them create a work-life plan that works for them.

Lead By Example

One of the most effective ways for HR and management to urge employees to disengage is to set a good example. HR and leadership may and should openly speak about how they prioritize self-care and relaxation. Sharing their approaches helps employees feel safe enough to jump on board. Managers must take the lead in modeling behavior and signaling that it is acceptable for employees to prioritize themselves and their loved ones to get through tough times.

Final Word For Employees

For employees, persuade yourself that you have the right to celebrate your leisure time. Making arrangements with your friends and family does not make you a negligent worker but an average person. Cut down on the number of times you look at your phone in your spare time, especially during weekends. And get rid of the habit of checking your email. We are frequently to blame for not being able to unplug from our work entirely. Learn to draw the line and say "no."