This Country Makes It Legal to Ignore Work E-Mails Outside the Office

IMAGE Esquire

Over the holiday weekend, France passed a new labor law granting French employees the "right to disconnect" from phones and computers when their workdays are complete. That means no work emails, reply-alls, or last minute deadlines after hours, which sounds near fantastical.

The new law requires businesses with over 50 employees to negotiate boundaries for how time is spent out of office, like designating hours when employees are not required to respond to work-related, or prohibiting the "reply all" function outside the office, according to The New York Times. "These measures are designed to ensure respect for rest periods and... balance between work and family and personal life," the Ministry of Labor said.

In the United States, any such law may seem like a small step in a workplace with insufficient family leave, weak overtime laws, and a fiscal glass ceiling, but it could combat growing burnout in the workforce, as French officials hope. In the U.S., Glassdoor found that 61 percent of employees conduct work business while on vacation, and a survey commissioned by Adobe Software found that 87 percent of employees check emails outside of work, contributing to the average 6.3 hours spent on emails every day.

There's no reason those last 20 emails can't wait until the morning.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

View More Articles About:
More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Sarah Rense
Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more.
View Other Articles From Sarah
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us