This Memorial Day Make Sure You’re Unplugged
Today is the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. It is the day we recognize and remember men and women who died in service to our country. It’s also a day off work. In almost every industry except for retail and a few others, office workers get Memorial Day day as a company -paid holiday.
Memorial Day is one of the big holidays. Even stingy companies give employees the day off on Memorial Day. You know those companies where you only get 6 company observed holidays per year? New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yup, that’s it. President’s Day? Veteran’s Day? Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Naw, those are work days at many companies.
Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer season for Americans, so it’s a holiday we hold close to our hearts. Barbecues, cookouts and trips to the beach are annual rites of passage to summer and this is the weekend those traditions begin. This is the weekend we should all unplug and step away from work. For these three days, don’t check your email. Each time a thought about something work-related enters your mind, brush it away and think about something else. Be mindful about it.
It’s critically important to take time away from your job to completely disconnect. There has been a lot of buzz this week about a new law proposed in France that would prohibit companies with 50 or more employees from emailing/communicating with employees after work hours, including weekends and holidays. It’s all about allowing staff to know that no digital communications would come from their boss at night so they can feel comfortable disengaging from their work responsibilities after hours.
I think this is an awesome idea, because many times we check mail at night to make sure nothing urgent is happening that will catch us off guard in the morning. No one wants to find out something critical happened and there is a string of email communication with everyone but you contributing to the conversation. I’ve felt that before and so I when I was working in corporate environments, I would routinely check mail a few times in the evening.
It would be a nice feeling to have work completely stop in the evening every day. To know that nothing would require your attention over the holiday weekend. For many office workers with corporate-issued cell phones that ping when emails are received or with instant messaging apps, that doesn’t happen. A law like the one being considered in France could go a long way toward encouraging that behavior.
Do you think we need a law to prohibit our bosses from contacting us during non-work hours?