Do not disturb policies on the rise: discover the best measures to guarantee the right to digital disconnect
With the explosion of remote working during the pandemic and the hybrid telework-office model being configured, the need to implement initiatives to guarantee the right to digital disconnection of employees outside their working hours is growing. is emphasized.
In the new scenario, the lines between personal and professional life are blurred, even largely taking place in the same space. This situation, with the danger of permanent connection that it entails, contributes to increasing the stress and overwork of the employees and, consequently, to reducing their commitment to the organization.
From the first moment of the crisis, the best organizations stepped up the implementation of good practices to ensure digital disconnection, which they had already started to implement before. According to data from the Top Employers HR Best Practice survey, 56% of the 103 Top Employers companies in Spain have already taken initiatives to avoid sending emails or making calls outside of working hours, which represents an increase of 23% compared to last year. In addition, 41% of these organizations have do-not-disturb-while-vacation policies, an increase of 16% from 2021. These companies have other types of actions to ensure disconnection, such as limiting hours of meeting and their maximum duration.
These measures take the form of company agreements with employees, awareness campaigns, disconnection protocols, advice offered with innovative communication formats or IT platforms that inform each employee about their digital connection habits so that they can ‘he can improve them.
All of these initiatives contribute to reconciliation, emotional balance, improvement of the working environment and employee engagement in an environment that requires new rules. “We are moving from dealing with the experience of employees within the organization to something larger, managing the life experience of employees, as their professional and personal facets are increasingly intertwined. Companies today have an additional responsibility for the well-being of employees and must worry about disconnection and flexibility ”, underlines Massimo Begelle, regional director of the Top Employers Institute.
ING and AXA are good examples of companies that have implemented a wide variety of measures to ensure digital disconnection.
AXA, a pioneer in the regulation of the right to disconnect
In 2017, AXA was the first company in Spain to include in its collective agreement the right to disconnect employees and, months later, it signed the protocol on the right to digital disconnection to guarantee rest time and conciliation. They set guidelines such as not sending messages or making calls outside of office hours, maximum meeting start and end times, or turning off lights in AXA buildings at 7:00 p.m. In addition, during the months of remote work (Covid-19 pandemic situation), practices were reinforced for effective time management in terms of convening meetings (duration, punctuality, participants, planning, etc.), channels preferential communication between teams or use of technology as an ally to gain agility.
ING: choose where and when to work
With Ework, ING Espaa’s 100% free working model, professionals can choose where and when to work in a flexible way, two essential aspects for reconciliation and well-being. In addition, they have carried out a series of measures which contribute to the digital disconnection, which accompany and facilitate the working day. The flexible entry time is envisaged between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and departure between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. They also limit meeting hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and recommend that they last no more than 45 minutes, in order to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the management of the working time of each professional. And finally, they set a tight schedule for sending emails and calls. “This set of measures reinforces the idea of an organizational culture centered on the employee and which has a positive impact on customers”, underlines Isaac Vitini, Director of Human Resources at ING Espaa.