- Almost a quarter of Poles receive messages or phone calls from their superiors after working hours
- Experts explain that, as a rule, sending e-mails by the employer or making telephone contact outside working hours is not prohibited. However, the employee is not obliged to answer during his free time, except on duty
- They also warn that too much pressure can lead to burnout
- Responding to messages outside working hours can be considered a so-called over time. The employee is entitled to an equivalent in the form of appropriate remuneration or leave
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23.9% of respondents report that their supervisor sends them emails, texts or instant messages after working hours on routine matters. In turn, 56.5% do not experience it. respondents from the group of 1068 Poles with a professional activity. Plus, 13 percent. of respondents admit that such contacts take place, but only in emergency situations. However, 6.6 percent. study participants do not recall such events.
– Texting or using instant messaging should not happen at all. Our previous research shows that 65.3 percent. Poles complain of symptoms that can directly lead to burnout. In the age group of 18-22 years, it is even 81%. One of the reasons is precisely the lack of rest and the constant feeling of being at work. The pandemic has blurred the line between her and her personal life – comments Michał Pajdak from the ePsycholodzy.pl platform.
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As lawyer Dr. Karolina Mazur points out, the sending of e-mails by the employer or making telephone contact outside working hours is in principle not prohibited. However, the employee is not required to answer during his free time, except on duty. The expert also points out that the engagement of an employee in professional matters outside working hours can be considered as an injunction to work overtime. This is especially true when, as a result of a contact, a particular person has to perform additional work activities outside normal working hours. And it should be considered as answering employer email, answering text messages or phone call on business matters.
– We live faster and faster, we work more. Without taking care of good hygiene at work and balance, that is, time for real rest, it can quickly turn out that after a while we will be completely exhausted physically and mentally . It is understandable that we can all work harder in our lives. However, if the situation persists, it can have a negative impact on our well-being and motivation, for example, in the form of an increased risk of rapid burnout – says psychologist Michał Murgrabia, co-author of the study of the ePsycholodzy.pl platform.
Action and reaction
The study also shows that contacts after normal hours (excluding emergency situations) are more often experienced by men (including – 27.2%) than by women (20.5%). Moreover, these situations are mainly mentioned by people aged 23-35 (29.7%), with a net monthly income of PLN 7,000-8,999 (39.1%), with primary or lower secondary education (29.4%) and living in cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants (28.6%).
– This type of communication is often used by young people and aspiring employees who have not yet founded a family. For these people, work is very important. They are aware that their increased involvement can lead to faster promotion, and therefore – to an increase in income – analyzes Michał Pajdak from the ePsycholodzy.pl platform.
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We also know that 85.5% respondents answer the questions above correspondence the day they receive it. 12.4% respondents did not react as quickly. In turn, 2.1 percent. of study participants do not remember how he behaves in the above situations. As Michał Murgrabia points out, this results from the organizational culture of the company which encourages such behavior. If such actions are accepted and promoted by the supervisor, it is extremely difficult for the employee not to react. Often companies require employees to be in the so-called ambulance.
– Responding to messages after working hours can be considered a so-called over time. The employee is entitled to an equivalent in the form of appropriate remuneration or leave. In accordance with art. 151 of the Labor Code, work performed beyond the working time standards applicable to the employee and extended daily time, resulting from the applicable system and work schedule, constitute overtime – emphasizes Dr. Mazur.
Employee under pressure
Plus, 52.8 percent. of respondents informs that if he does not respond quickly to correspondence, the superior repeats the message the same day or strongly demands a response. However, 39.4 percent. of respondents point out that there is no renewed contact, and 7.8 percent. does not remember what it looks like in such situations.
– We operate in what is called immediacy. The lack of response generates reactions from the supervisor. And it’s not a positive experience. The employee, not wanting to allow such a situation, takes a number of actions. For example, it allows viewing messages on the phone and periodically checks e-mail for new messages – says Michał Pajdak.
In turn, Dr. Karolina Mazur draws attention to the resolution of the European Parliament of January 21, 2021. It indicates the need to regulate in the Member States the contacts between employer and employee after working hours. The employee’s right to be offline was also raised. However, there is currently no European legal framework directly defining and regulating this area.
– The pressure exerted on the employee by the boss can, in a way, force him to change his way of life for a way of life mainly subject to work. Unfortunately, managers still don’t notice that the employee is more effective and engaged in the long term, if he also has time to mind his own business after finishing the job. – summarizes Michał Murgrabia.