Balancing life and work, one email at a time

Posted on January 2, 2017 by


One of the most intriguing phenomena that’s managed to quietly grace the whimper-like onset of 2017 is happening in France: organizations with 50+ employees are now mandated by law “to negotiate the terms of sending work emails after hours, and define the rights of employees to ignore such communication.”

You wanna talk work-life balance? So ya—apparently it’s no longer a myth (?) That parenthetical question mark is my signature “OHRLY”, but I’m actually compelled to root for this movement more so than doubt its sustainability.

But we’ve all been there, right?

The random ping-n-vibrate-or-pop-up-in-YO-face! during dinner, setting off the Pavlovian dog in you to salivate and react on cue .. the invisible yet nagging feeling that somehow you’re still at the office when Googling “RIP latest musician” while vegging on the couch and suddenly —*ding* Urgent! It’s always @#$%! urgent and you ALWAYS need to respond.

Perhaps it’s naive of me to lean towards optimism as we forge ahead this year—a year which apparently promises to see heated activity in technological automation and robotics—especially in areas like Drone technology, Machine learning, AR (Augmented reality) and VR (Virtual reality).

Nevertheless, any concerted effort to mitigate the sometimes bulldozing effect of disruptive tech, is most certainly worthy of discussion. At least until SkyNet takes over—or er .. n’er mind

So, for the first chat of 2017, lets put on our Hawking-approved, Snowden-vetted, multi-disciplinary hat for an hour and explore the possible implications surrounding this new French employment statute:

Q1 What are your first-reactions and sentiments about an email policy of this nature?

Q2 Have you experienced (or still experience) the “24/7 office” hanging heavily every time you see a notification pop up? How does it affect you?

Q3 Are there viable, alternatives to addressing the 24/7 syndrome outside of legislating ways to mitigate it?

Q4 Volkswagen set to deactivate its workers BlackBerrys after hours in 2011; do you think this law is precedent-setting?

As usual, what lives between the lines and lies waiting in tangential conversations are sometimes the most mentally savoury and inspiring nuggets .. hope you can join us!

Happy New Year!