More than a third of Brits using mobile devices to work outside normal office hours- should the UK have a right to disconnect?

More than a third of Brits using mobile devices to work outside normal office hours- should the UK have a right to disconnect?

Proof that UK workers need to learn to switch off this festive season? A new survey has revealed that Brits are feeling pressure to work outside normal office hours and as a result, many are using their personal devices to do so.

In the study conducted by mobile phone insurance provider Insurance2go, 33% of Brits were reported to continue to answer emails and complete work tasks when they got home from work, whilst 25% do so on their lunch breaks and 23% do so during their commute.

And whilst many people use a work phone, the survey revealed that 18% prefer to use their personal devices during meetings and work trips as they consider them to be better than their work counterparts and 14% said they stick to using their personal devices due to familiarity.

Of those most likely to work outside office hours, the worst culprits were those who work in emergency services with 60% working after work, and 80% working during lunch, followed by accounting of which 40% of workers work during their commutes, whilst 61% of lawyers work when they are ill.

These new survey results come amidst a debate over whether the UK should have a ‘right to disconnect’. French law has stipulated since 2016 that companies are obligated to negotiate with employees to agree on their rights to switch off, and to develop ways to limit intrusion into their personal and private lives. In the survey, when asked if Britain should follow suit, 65% said they were in favour.

Rob Shaw, Managing Director at Glu Recruit said: “Whilst some workers prefer to stay in the loop by checking emails and working outside office hours, it is clear that many people find the expectation to be ‘always on’ a challenge.

“Many of us feel pressure to work outside of normal working hours, but it’s important to find a balance.

“If an employee is not getting enough rest, or a break from work, the pressure is going to build up and they are never going to perform well when actually in work.

“From time to time, it’s important to take a step back. It is important that employers manage the expectation of their staff, and work together to develop a fair solution which encapsulates the need for communication and understanding of the rules and regulations of working on personal devices, whilst protecting the ‘down time’ of employees. “


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