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Some Companies Are Enforcing Curfews on Work-Related Emails


A recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management found that 21 percent of organizations have rules limiting employees’ use of wireless devices for work purposes during non-work hours. This is fairly shocking to most of us who regularly send emails at 3 a.m. and on the weekend — with the boss’s enthusiastic support.

“I would never hire an employee who isn’t willing to check their e-mails after work and sometimes work on weekends,” one employer told the Boston Globe. “I was taught to value the importance of a job … Plus, I am very generous about letting my employees leave for children’s school events, etc. I expect a similar type of loyalty and respect. Workers need to understand that employers need to provide the products and services or there will be no jobs. I have taken significant pay cuts during this recession so as not to lay off employees. The idea that checking their e-mail on weekends isn’t fair is repulsive to me.”

The idea of giving a little to get a little makes sense, but while most of us would like some flexibility in our schedules, if we have to buy that flexibility with 24/7 accessibility, well, maybe the price is too high both for workers and for employers. After all, excessive work is one of the leading causes of employee burnout, which undercuts job satisfaction and ultimately job performance and productivity.

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On the other hand, some workers — like the author of the Globe article, Michelle Singletary — might prefer to work odd hours in order to be able to attend school functions or participate in other non-work-related events. A curfew could hamper their ability to achieve work-life balance.

What do you think? Would a wireless curfew help you keep your working hours under control, or make life more difficult?

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(Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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