Covid19 puts the right to disconnect center stage

Covid19 puts the right to disconnect center stage

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused many countries to either recommend or force a large portion of the labor force to work from home. While the flexibility to work remotely is important and allows employees to carry on with their work, it also gives rise to an important challenge: When you work and live in the same space, how can you separate the two and maintain a sound work-life balance?  

Guide to Disconnect

Last year, UNI’s Professionals and Managers group (P&M) published a guide to the right to disconnect, i.e. the right to disconnect from work after the normal working day ends and to not be penalized for doing so. The guide was intended to serve as a manual for introducing a right to disconnect in the workplace, highlighting the risks of stress, anxiety, and burnout when employees are constantly connected to work. 

Today, when many employees are working from home on weeks on end, the right to disconnect becomes all the more important to protect employees’ mental health. To provide guidance on observing a right to disconnect during the Coronavirus crisis, UNI P&M has released an additional briefing that includes five points to especially consider in these times.  

Working from Home

The briefing notes, for example, the need to define what constitute the new normal working hours, if a traditional schedule cannot be observed. It also notes the requirement for employers to effectively communicate about the right to disconnect and ensure that everyone has the training required. Furthermore, it underlines the need to take into account that people are differently affected by the crisis, and that employees who care for family members or relatives don’t have the same possibility to stay connected to work as someone without similar responsibilities.  

For more information on the right to disconnect during the Coronavirus, see the full briefing here 

Find the French, Spanish and Swedish versions of the briefing on these links.

Click here to find the complete guide to the right to disconnect in English