Saturday 10 December 2016

Can we maintain our work/life balance in face of new technology?

Published 22/04/2014 | 02:30

In the past month, Amazon, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Netflix have plunged at least 13pc each
In the past month, Amazon, Facebook, TripAdvisor and Netflix have plunged at least 13pc each

In 1930 economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that modern technology would give workers more leisure time. But technology has proven to be a mixed blessing. While it has allowed us to work from anywhere it has also caused us to be contactable at any time, day or night.

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Not surprisingly, the French, always the first to take to the streets to protest, are not happy with the way technology is eating into their leisure time. Never ones to lie down and accept it, the French unions have been fighting back.

Now employers' federations and unions representing nearly one million French workers have signed a legally binding labour agreement stipulating that staff 'disconnect' when they go home. Once an employee has left the office they should ignore any work-related calls, emails or documents on their mobile devices. The deal specifically affects employees in the technology and consultancy sectors including Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC.

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