An email switch off policy encourages all employees to log out of their work email accounts and intranets outside of their regular working hours. With many employees continuing to work from home or in hybrid working arrangements, the benefits of an employee’s right to ‘disconnect’ are substantial.
Whilst to some organisations the notion of employees regularly working out-of-hours, even just to complete jobs that are minimal for example, replying to a quick email seems beneficial, having an ‘always on’ culture can have a profoundly negative effect on the employee.
Having an ‘always on’ culture encourages the mindset that those who respond quickly, and complete tasks out-of-hours rather than the next working day are more dedicated than those who utilise their right to disconnect. This mindset can place unnecessary pressure and anxiety on individuals, especially on newer employers and those aiming for promotions.
With smartphones, an employee’s personal phone is often their work phone too, which reduces an employee’s ability to escape work-related notifications. Those who are unable to properly rest from work can easily become more burnt out due to being exposed to further work-related stress. Furthermore, working outside of set hours is damaging to an employee’s work-life balance.
Increased home-related stress because of not ‘disconnecting’ can result in reduced productivity, decreased morale and risk a decline in staff retention.
By implementing a switch-off policy, your organisation will be supporting overall employee wellbeing and effectively demonstrating a high level of care for employees, a dominant aspect for increasing both staff retention and attracting new, higher-level candidates.