The right to disconnect

The right to disconnect has become a hot topic since the pandemic has many of us working more ‘flexibly’ and let’s be honest, for many of us, more frequently!

Sure, it’s handy to be able to attend a work meeting in your slippers, but how do we really balance work and home life when your desk is in your kid’s bedroom? How do you leave the office at 5 when your desk is your dining table? How do you get a good night’s sleep when your manager texts you at 8pm about why you didn’t hit your targets today?

How do we disconnect when the lines between work and home are so blurred?

The answer is simple – know your rights! The more you know about your rights, the clearer the lines become.

How do we get the right to disconnect?

Bosses might have us believing that they will tell us what our rights are and what they say goes.

Well, the good news is our rights exist whether our employers are prepared to acknowledge them or not! The right to disconnect is just another way to say you have the right to a work- life balance. And you do!

In Australia, our workplace rights are built on the idea that, on average, every workday should have 8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest and 8 hours of leisure. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but unless you are a shift worker, if you work in the finance industry, this is the balance you very likely have a right to.

If we’re getting notifications until the moment we go to sleep, we have not had an opportunity to disconnect, to rest or to engage with our hobbies and loved ones.

Turning off the computer, the phone, applying your out of office, not accepting meetings before or after work. These are all things you must feel confident to do in order to assert your right to disconnect.

Asserting our right to not be on call at all times is an important step to re-establishing the firm boundaries between our work lives and at home lives.

What if I’m not confident to assert my rights?

In the words of a wise little green guy, “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.“ (Yoda it was)

You should never be scared of asserting your rights, but the reality is that sometimes people do. So if you are one of those people, check out our top 3 tips tips to overcoming your fear of asserting your rights at work.

Have questions? Contact us.

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