How can HR help employees use their right to ‘switch off’ ?

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The pandemic mixed up work and personal life in a way that we have  never been seen before. Suddenly, our houses transformed into offices, and turning off the computer at the end of the day became increasingly harder.

Most of us were caught off guard by this change. Although several sectors have worked successfully remotely for the past 18 months and are more suited than ever to do so in the future, many people are unsure where work life stops and home life starts.

One out of every four firms is now contemplating implementing ‘right to disconnect’ rules to assist employees keep their personal and professional lives separate.

HR has a critical role to play in this by establishing limits and ensuring that managers and senior leadership adhere to these ideals.

Set out new rules of engagement

Businesses can try to adopt programmes to encourage workers to switch off, or even go as far as to centrally disconnect equipment to assist them in doing so, eliminating the assumption that staff should continue to work when the day is done. As a result, a culture emerges in which people are free to disconnect without fear of harming their reputation or career advancement chances.

France has long been a leader in prioritising staff mental health and well-being over that of employers, with the Right to Disconnect statute stating that employees are not required to receive calls or read emails connected to work during their time off.

With government backing for the same type of working structure in the UK, we may expect similar changes to be adopted in the near future.

Employee experience in the digital age

HR has a chance to improve the hybrid-working experience by providing better guidelines and policy. Employees will increasingly anticipate a company reward of ‘the right to turn off’ as we move away from full-time remote working, with employee welfare at the forefront of mind.

As a result, HR must place a high premium on monitoring the digital employee experience.

It is critical for HR departments to use technology to assess and enhance the employee experience (EX) if they are to stay competitive in attracting and keeping talent.

This may be accomplished through monthly check-ins and pulse surveys that are routinely scheduled.

Managers should also be supplied with the appropriate technology to ensure that they have all of the information necessary to identify whether employees have been online for an extended period of time or who have meetings outside of normal working hours on a regular basis.

They can then recognise indicators of overwork and help prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness, as well as be instructed to adopt a more aggressive approach to turning off IT outside of core hours.

For a lot of people, the COVID-19 pandemic’s silver lining has been the development of full-time remote working. Employers also have an interest in ensuring that employees do not work excessive hours, which may be harmful to their health and wellness and taint this new working style. Employees will have the right to turn off and a clear difference between home and work life if clear, new norms of engagement are established and HR technology is in place.

See how HealthBoxHR can help your company manage and improve the communication between staff and managers with such features like Performance Management, Mental Health Management & MyChatBox 

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