This week, users on LinkedIn have been widely discussing the downsides of working from home. Some users mention feeling a disconnect between themselves and their employers, leading to feeling a lack of job security. Others are taking notice of the pay-cuts taking part in those working from home further from the office. Both of these types of users, however, share one thing in common. They are working longer hours and answering phone calls and emails after-hours.
For many, this behavior has become vicious cycle. This includes working long hours to keep up with others who do so, and setting the precedent for all workers to be available at a moment’s notice. But all this is changing, thanks to the latest bylaw for those working from home in Ontario.
Ontario’s Latest Law for Working from Home
As of October 25, 2021, Ontario legislation has enforced all companies with 25 or more employees to have a right to disconnect statement in writing. That means that all employees have the right to know when they are expected to be working and when they may not answer emails, phone calls, and video chats. This act is the first of its kind to update the Employment Standards Act in Ontario following the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic. And in response to the growing fatigue those working from home are facing, this new act may be the key to preventing pandemic-related burn out.
“The lines between family time and work time have been blurred. I think all of us have faced challenges over the last couple of years.”
-Monte McNaughton, Ontario Labour Minister
So, while this law may not affect you, particularly if your company is a smaller one, or your position is not a traditional one with 9-5 working hours, it still may encourage a shift in work and home separation. This starts with shifting your mentality as a worker and protecting your health and wellbeing to not burn yourself out.
What This Means For WFH Employees
If you’re an employee who works from home, remember your rights. Although you work from home, you are not obligated to be on-call or on the clock 24/7. You deserve to (and should!) take breaks when needed, and you deserve to log off at the end of the work day. Make sure you’re communicating with your team members and employers about this. If you work certain hours of the day, update your colleagues and encourage them to do the same. And while it’s difficult to do so, setting boundaries is crucial for mental wellness and avoiding burn out. After all, absenteeism hurts us all.
This applies to both days of the week (before and after regular working hours), and on weekends and holidays. If you’re on vacation, take the time to write an automatic email response stating your vacation dates. Then, turn your phone off. It’s the best way to maintain healthy boundaries and keep your team members up to date.
What this means for WFH Employers
Whether you’re an employer who also works from home, or works in-office, but has employees who work from home, you’re responsible for setting healthy boundaries. After all, you only want the best for your employees, and that includes their wellness and happiness with the organization. This starts with establishing a healthy work environment (even a virtual one) and setting the employees up for success. Wherever possible, establish connections and job security so employees don’t feel the need to overwork to the point of burn out. Provide them with resources that can help them establish good working from home habits. And most of all, do so for yourself as well.
You can’t help others unless you help yourself first.
Hiring for WFH positions
If you’re an employer looking to hire employees for positions that are remote, you’ll want to make sure you’re finding the right candidates who will be able to self-regulate and work independently. Whether you’re looking to fill a sales, marketing, leadership, or developer’s position, Packfinder has you covered. Packfinder is the number one hiring tool made for employers looking to hire more effectively and fairly. Based on psychometric profiling, Packfinder measures a user’s soft skills in comfort with conflict, self-management, motivation, environmental fit, and more. The best part? Workwolf makes automated filtration easier than ever before with pre-set benchmarking tools and express assessments that measure your top candidates in real-time.
Ready to try it out for yourself?
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