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Half of workers want to be free of work-related texts, calls and emails outside office hours

As a study reveals strong support for restrictions on work contact outside official working hours, Emprocom’s Health & Safety Consultant, Lee Douglas, looks at how disconnecting from work is good for our mental health, especially for hybrid workers…

15 June 2022

As a study reveals strong support for restrictions on work contact outside official working hours, Emprocom’s Health & Safety Consultant, Lee Douglas, looks at how disconnecting from work is good for our mental health, especially for hybrid workers…

Half of workers want to be free of work-related calls and emails outside office hours

New research suggests that more than half of UK adults would support new legislation giving employees the right to ignore work-related communications outside of their official working/on-call hours.

A sample of 1,050 British adults, aged 16-75-years-old, found that 60% of those interviewed for the online poll in February 2022, support such a move.

And 67% of this working sample say they already participate in work-related communications, such as responding to emails, texts, and instant messages, outside working hours.

This high percentage may explain why there is such strong support for legislation that could provide greater clarity on managing work boundaries.

Market researcher, Ipsos, asked 1,050 respondents to imagine that the UK government was considering introducing a law giving employees the right to ignore work-related communication outside their official working or on-call hours.

They were given emails, texts, instant messages and phone calls as examples of what this communication could be.

The poll found that 34% would strongly support such a move, while only 11% said they would be against it.

The research also reveals that 60% of the 1,050 interviewed would support legislation that gives employees the right to disconnect by switching off work-related messages and devices outside of office hours.

Of the 698 working adults who accept work-related communications outside of working hours, 43% say they check correspondence such as emails, texts, instant messages and voice messages, while 40% reply to communication, including phone calls from work. Only 30% refuse to communicate.

Younger respondents tend to be most likely to believe such expectations are acceptable, with 56% of 16-34-year-olds believing it is fine, compared with 34% of 33-75-year-olds.

The responses show that households with a total income of £55,000 and upwards a year are more likely to conform to their bosses’ needs.

Lee’s role at Emprocom

Lee has a wide range of experience and brings a unique skillset to the role of Health and Safety Consultant at Emprocom.

After leaving Qatar in 2012 due to a family illness, Lee and his family set up back in Lincolnshire where he left his Security background behind completely and became a full-time Health and Safety consultant with a local Company and more recently Emprocom. Over the last 10 years, Lee has gained a lot of experience, in many different industries, ranging from Engineering, Farming, Food Manufacturing, and Public Services. He has also spent a lot of time within the Stone Mason Industry as well as Logistical Transport and Warehousing. It’s the variety of the work that keeps Lee interested most and why he enjoys Consulting as much as he does.

Outside of work, Lee prefers a quieter pace of life these days. Weekends used to be about playing and watching football. Now whilst they still tend to be about family time, if the house is empty and he gets the chance, Lee likes to draw to relax.

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