With Portugal banning after-hours work communication, employees across the globe call for their employers to adopt the approach. Amid endless blurring of work-life boundaries, employees demand penalties for communication post working hours. Nearly two-thirds (63.3%) of the workforce demands a law to be passed on the same, reveals new research from SkyNova. In fact, 66% of the salaried workforce advocates for this law to be a reality.
This sentiment emerges as over a quarter (26.4%) of employees claim their managers contact them beyond working hours more than once a week. One in five employees stated they are contacted outside of work hours everyday, and about a tenth (9.1%) of the respondents admitted their bosses contact them multiple times beyond working hours.
"Fewer than seven per cent of those who had been contacted outside of work were able to say that they rarely or never answered, and more than 84% said these after-work calls led to doing more work," found the research.
Should the legislation on after-hours communications be approved, here is what employees seek from the fine:
- 45% saying they want it paid to them
- 39% want it paid to the government
- About 39.5% just want their employer reprimanded in case they break the law
The research enlisted the following reasons that drive employees to respond outside regular working hours:
- Flexible schedule (46.2%)
- Provide co-workers with extra support (42.7%)
- Expected by bosses or employers (38.4%)
- Make a good impression on authorities (37.5%)
- Likes to work when no one else is working (33.4%)
- Too much work to complete within regular hours (33.2%)
- Job does not have typical work hours (15%)
According to the respondents, phone calls are regarded as the "most inappropriate way" to contact an employee after hours. Emails emerged to be the most acceptable form of contact when outside work hours. Further, about 63% of the respondents said after hours communication is only accepted when there is a work emergency. Other exceptions include:
- Urgent project/deadline (46.1%)
- Sick co-worker (45.6%)
- Compensated for extra time (45.3%)
- Correct a mistake (41%)
- Understaffed workplace (36.8%)
- No reasons needed (28%)
With disruptive changes shaping what employees expect from their employer, a whooping 90.4% of job seekers want to know about after-hours communication practice during their interview itself. These findings demonstrate how employees are increasingly seeking clear boundaries while they continue to straddle the remote, hybrid and return to workplace conundrum. It remains to be seen how employers adapt their outlook, approach and workflows to meet the evolving work culture expectations.