Should off-hours work email be banned?

I noticed this conversation on LinkedIn this week and it really made me think:

Technology was supposed to make our work lives easier but it turns out that for many of us it has made it even busier. Businesses can now hook workers around the clock almost every day of the year using messaging tools found on employees’ phones. One New York City council member wants to put an end to it. According to CNN, Rafael Espinal, a council member from Brooklyn, introduced a bill last week that would make it illegal for businesses with more than 10 people to contact employees during off-work hours, including weekends and vacations. “There’s a lot of New Yorkers out there that don’t know when their work day begins or when their work day ends, because we’re all so tied to our phones,” he told a CNN affiliate. Businesses would receive small fines for contacting workers during off-hours — payable to the workers themselves. • What’s your take on the proposed law?

There are thousands of comments, shares, and likes on the post. It seems that everyone has an opinion, and with good reason. Work/life balance is at center stage recently as the lines continually blur between work, friends, family, personal time and personal space.

This idea would never work for the HRIS and payroll industries. Complicated issues arise all the time and they need be dealt with immediately. When it comes to people’s money and personal information, “dealing with it in the morning” is’nt an appropriate response! It’s the nature of the business and the industry. Consultants especially need to be connected at all times, in case of an emergency. For better or worse, that’s the way of the world now!

We all need to consider the schedule that works for us. Some don’t mind, and actually enjoy, working after hours so they can catch up on certain small tasks they missed during the day. Others have a hard rule that once they leave the office, they leave the work behind, too.

My advice is to choose the work style that works best for you personally, and keep government rules out of it. It will be hard to enforce, anyway.

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