A new law says French companies with more than 50 workers must guarantee a “right to disconnect” from emails outside office hours, to improve work-life balance. Officials in other countries are also encouraging people to leave work at the office:
Germany’s employment ministry bars its managers from contacting staff during off-hours, and major companies, including Volkswagen and BMW, have followed suit. In 2014, automaker Daimler began automatically deleting emails sent to employees on vacation.
The government is considering reducing Spain’s long workday by two hours and shifting clocks back an hour to the country’s original time zone. The 11-hour day currently includes a lengthy break for a siesta, which many don’t take because they are unable to return home in the afternoon.
Tokyo’s governor has ordered municipal employees to finish work by 8 p.m. to combat karoshi, or “death from overwork.” Lights are turned off, and anyone found at their desk is sent home.
This appears in the January 16, 2017 issue of TIME.
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