A US-based consulting firm, Advisory Board is pushing for a no 'after-hours e-mail' for its employees. This is being touted as a growing effort by some employers who are trying to rebuild the boundaries between work and home and not over-exploit the facilities of work-issued gadgets such as smartphones and tabs.
According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, in recent years, at least one in four companies have created similar rules on e-mail, both formal and informal, which include Volkswagen, some divisions of PricewaterhouseCoopers and shipping company PBD Worldwide.
Economists say that the 'e-mail' has become one of the greatest conundrums of our recessionary era, which has helped companies eke out more from each worker, but the 'perpetually plugged' work culture is also making one feel more fried.
"There is no question e-mail is an important tool, but it's just gone overboard and encroached in our lives in a way where employees were feeling like it was harder and harder to achieve a good balance," the Washington Post quoted Robert Musslewhite, Chief Executive of the Advisory Board, a health and education research and software-services firm, as saying.
According to labor advocacy groups, employees work evenings and weekends beyond their normal hours and do not record that time with their employers. And that's made work bleed into just about every vacant space of time, from checking BlackBerrys and iPhones at school drop-offs to just after an alarm clock rings in the morning, the paper said.
"Problems with work-life balance have become much worse, especially as the economy has taken a downturn. Fewer workers doing jobs more used to do and are getting squeezed to do more work," said Catherine Ruckelshaus, the legal co-director of the National Employment Law Project.