In France it's now illegal for workers in the digital and consultancy sectors to respond to emails after 6pm.
That would probably see most UK employers breaking the law on a daily basis, as so many people these days seem to spend long past the 6pm cut-off working, never mind tackling their emails when they're at home or late at night.
Not responding to your work emails out of office hours is good general practice - although making it a law is perhaps a step too far. You need to create boundaries around your work day and just because you can be contacted and read your email outside of work hours doesn't mean you should.
When you do, you set a precedence. Set customer/client expectations and clear boundaries. In reality, what difference will it make whether you respond late in the evening or the following morning? (Unless, of course you're working on a time critical project but this should be the exception not the norm.)
I've heard many stories of people being contacted late at night, over the weekend or even when they're on holiday and there's been little they can actually do because it's 'out of office hours'.
In Sweden they're trialing a six hour work day - 30 hour working week, on the basis that productivity decreased the longer employees work.
The longer you work without a break, the less productive you become - especially if you're working long hours and getting more and more tired and inefficient. You'll probably get as much done with focused effort in six hours as you would with interruptions, distractions and a lack of focus in eight, nine or ten hours.
What do you do to maintain a good work life balance?
Balancing Act (Photo credit: Digitalnative)