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若禁止周末处理工作邮件 员工是否还会焦虑

更新时间:2018-9-19 21:03:40 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What would happen if we banned work emails at the weekend?
若禁止周末处理工作邮件 员工是否还会焦虑

For the average working person, there’s no greater feeling than powering down your computer and kissing goodbye to your avalanche of work emails for the day. If we’re lucky enough to disconnect from the job on evenings and weekends, we’re overjoyed to leave work email and the stress that comes with it in the office.

对于普通上班族而言,没有什么比关上电脑、和大量工作邮件说再见更让人心情愉悦了。如果我们足够幸运,晚上和周末都无需心系工作,那么能把工作邮件和随之而来的压力全部留在办公室实在是让人喜出望外。

But experts say we’re increasingly failing to do so, instead bringing the burden home with us and fielding emails during our free time. Unsurprisingly, this routine has some serious consequences.

但专家表示,我们越来越无法做到这一点,反而将工作的压力带回家,闲暇时光也被邮件占领。这样周而复始,造成一些严重的后果也是意料之中的事了。

Working abnormal or long hours has long been linked with depression, anxiety and even coronary heart disease. Crucially, the importance of weekend recovery has also been correlated with weekly job performance and personal initiative. While further research revealed psychological detachment during off-work time, reduced emotional exhaustion caused by high job demands and helped people stay engaged.

工作时间长、作息异常一直是抑郁、焦虑、甚至冠心病的诱因。重要的是,每周工作的表现和个人的主观能动性需要用周末的时间来恢复调整。进一步研究表明,非工作时间有助心理解脱,能减少大量工作任务导致的精神疲惫,并帮助人们保持对工作的投入。

So, if we know all this, it begs the question: why are we still letting work invade our precious weekends?

所以,如果我们懂得这些道理,问题来了:为什么我们仍然让工作侵占宝贵的周末呢?

“It started when I lacked experience, I feared I might miss important information,” says Romain Gonord, a technical expert for Smile, an IT service provider with offices across France. “Now, it is a reflex, like checking my Facebook or Twitter timeline.”

郭诺赫(Romain Gonord)是信息技术提供商Smile的技术专家,这家公司在法国各处设有办公点。他说:"我缺乏经验的时候就开始这么做,我很担心会错过重要的信息。现在更像是一种条件反射,就像我刷脸书或者推特一样自然。"

Some feel this shift is just a natural evolution of the workplace and a result our stubborn inability to unplug. Others find it more sinister.

有人认为,这种转变只是职场经历的自然演变,是我们一直无法从工作中完全抽身的结果。也有人认为这种转变是一种不良征兆。

One government took radical steps to try to protect ‘Le Weekend’, but has it worked?

有政府采取激进的措施,尝试保护周末时间,但成效如何呢?

Last year France introduced a law giving some workers at companies with 50 or more employees the ability to negotiate the responsibility to check emails outside standard working hours.

去年,法国出台了一项法律,规定员工人数在50或以上的公司,其雇员有权与公司就非工作时间查收邮件的责任安排进行谈判。

The move followed a report in September 2015 on the impact of “info-obesity” on the health of France’s working-age population, and a labour agreement was subsequently brought in to tackle it. Consequently the “right to disconnect” is now enshrined in French law.

2015年9月,在一份有关"信息过载"对法国在职人口的影响的研究报告发表后,法国就开始推动这项法律,并引入了劳动协议来应对这个问题。最终,"与工作切断联系的权利"载入了法国的法律。

Xavier Alas Luquetas, chairman of Eléas, a French management consultancy, is positive about the change. “The right to not answer emails or professional requests outside of the office (not during working time) is gradually gaining ground in people's minds and also into practical reality in France,” he says.

法国管理咨询公司埃雷阿(Eléas)的主席卢凯塔(Xavier Alas Luquetas)表示,他对这种改变持积极态度。"在法国,人们已经逐渐树立起这种观点,认为人们有权在办公场所以外(非工作时间)拒绝回复邮件或者响应职场需求,并付诸实践了。"

And Gaetan de Lavilleon, an employee of French cognitive science consultancy CogX, has even changed the way he emails in response to the law. “I now use Boomerang, a Chrome add-on that delays your emails,” he explains. De Lavilleon tries his best to avoid checking emails outside of working hours, and even throttles his use of emails, imposing email blackouts of between 15 minutes and two hours during the day.

法国认知科学咨询公司阔格斯(CogX)的雇员拉维立翁(Gaeta de Lavilleon)甚至根据法律规定改变了自己收发邮件的习惯。他解释说:"我现在用Boomerang,这是一款可以推迟接收邮件的谷歌浏览器插件。"他现在尽可能避免在非工作时间查收邮件,甚至刻意遏制自己使用邮件,在每天某一段时间彻底断绝邮件往来,时间从15分钟到2小时不等。

Meanwhile, the move sparked change in Germany, too, although it depends which sector you’re working in. Employee unions have pushed some German firms to take action. Auto maker Volkswagen was one of the earliest adopters of a ban on out-of-work emails, configuring servers so that emails would only be sent to employees’ phones for half an hour before the start and after the end of the working day – and not during weekends. The policy was introduced because of lobbying by the company’s works council, or employee representatives. Car maker Daimler also introduced a policy that switches off employee access to emails during holidays.

与此同时,此举也在德国引发了改变,但影响范围主要取决于个人所处的行业。德国的工会已经促使某些德国企业采取行动。汽车制造商大众(Volkswagen)就是最早执行非工作时间邮件禁令的公司。他们将服务器设置为,只能在上班前半小时到下班后半小时的时间内向员工手机发送邮件,周末不会发送。该政策得以出台靠的是公司工会和雇员代表的游说。汽车制造商戴姆勒(Daimler)也推出了一项政策,使员工无法在节假日期间处理工作邮件。

Samantha Ruppel works two part-time jobs in Germany – one at a university and one at a charity. She was given a work laptop that she appreciated, but also felt could be a millstone, chaining her to her desk remotely. “It’s good to have the flexibility to do two different jobs and be able to check your email at the weekend,” she admits, “but sometimes people can try to rush you because they know you’re accessible at all times.”

鲁佩尔(Samantha Ruppel)在德国的大学和慈善组织兼职两份工作。公司给了她一台办公用笔记本电脑,她对此很感激,但同时觉得这台电脑好似一台磨盘,把她远程拴在办公桌前了。她承认:"能灵活地处理两项工作,而且在周末也能查收邮件是件好事,但也意味着,有时人们就可以试着催你赶进度,因为他们知道你随时随地都可以处理工作。"

Ruppel says her employers make sure that whenever she works on weekends, she’s able to recoup those days as holiday during the working week – but worries that in higher-stress jobs without an outright ban on email access at weekends, the temptation would be to simply work all day. Many of her friends work in Germany’s banking and financial sectors, and much of the chat at weekend parties is about work. “They don’t have access to their emails at the weekend and find it frustrating,” she says. “But I think it’s good: they could work 24 hours-a-day.”

鲁佩尔说,她的雇主确保她只要周末加班,就可以相应在工作日调休,但她担心那些工作强度高、公司没有明确的周末邮件禁令的人可能就得整天工作了。她有很多朋友在德国的银行和金融界工作,周末派对上的聊天话题也大都和工作有关。她表示:"他们周末无法查收邮件,感到非常沮丧。但我觉得这是件好事:要不是这样,他们可能一天24小时都要工作了。"

During the week, she says “they come home, eat their dinner then check their emails again. If they had the chance, they’d do it at weekends: it’s a competitive world, where they’re always trying to be faster and better than their competition.”

她说,工作日的时候,"他们回到家,吃完饭就再查一查邮件。一旦有机会,周末也会这么做:这是一个竞争激烈的世界,而他们总是努力想要比竞争对手做得更快更好。"

Her experience backs up research taken from all over Europe, which has some worrying implications. In a survey of 2,000 UK workers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), two-fifths of workers said they checked their emails outside of working hours at least five times a day. A third said they couldn’t mentally switch off at home, with work always looming over them.

她的经历证明了欧洲各地的研究结论,这些研究让人产生了一定的担忧。英国特许人事发展协会(Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development)对2000名英国员工进行调研,其中五分之二的员工表示,他们每天在非工作时间至少查收五次邮件。有三分之一的人表示,他们在家也无法从精神上与工作隔绝,总是被工作的阴影笼罩。

According to Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at Manchester Business School and president of the CIPD, the recent trend even spills into the way we access our work communications and projects.

曼彻斯特商学院组织心理学教授、英国特许人事发展协会主席库珀(Cary Cooper)表示,近来的发展趋势甚至影响到了我们工作沟通和处理项目的方式。

Today, says Cooper, work emails are just a tap of a smartphone away. “You don’t carry your laptop around when you’re out to dinner, but you do carry your mobile phone,” he says. “The smartphone changed everything.”

库珀说,如今工作邮件近在咫尺,手机上摁几个键就能找到。"你不会在外出吃完饭时带着手提电脑,但你会带上手机。手机改变了一切。"

“The higher the expectation for monitoring organisational email, the less people can detach, the more time they spend on work-related email after hours and the more they are emotionally exhausted,” says Liuba Belkin, associate professor in the department of management at Lehigh University.

里海大学(Lehigh University)管理学院副教授贝尔金(Liuba Belkin)说:"人们越想要盯着公司邮件,就越无法从工作中抽身,越会在下班后花更多时间处理工作邮件,精神上也越疲惫。"

Even if you’re not a compulsive checker of work emails, simply having the ability to check them has an impact. “Regardless of how much time workers spend on email after hours, it still gets to them and has negative implications,” says Belkin.

即使你没有查工作邮件的强迫症,只要可以查收,就会被影响。贝尔金说:"无论员工下班后花多少时间处理邮件,都会或多或少产生负面影响。"

Two subsequent papers produced by Belkin and colleagues show that even the expectation of work emails out of working hours is a trigger of anxiety – for employees and their loved ones, too.

贝尔金和同事先后发表的两篇论文显示:对员工和他们的家人而言,即使是在下班时有收到邮件的心理预期,就会引发焦虑。

The more time spent on work emails outside of working hours, the greater the instances of emotional exhaustion – and the average person in Belkin’s study spent eight hours a week checking emails out of hours. Subsequent research by Virginia Tech University found that people don’t have to check emails, but just have to believe they’re expected to, to trigger significant amounts of anxiety.

在非工作时间花费在处理工作邮件的时间越多,人就越感到精神疲惫。在贝尔金的研究中,平均每人每周要花8小时在非工作时间处理邮件。弗吉尼亚理工大学(Virginia Tech University)随后的研究指出,无需查收邮件,仅仅是有查收邮件的预期,就足够引起严重的焦虑情绪了。

As well as causing anxiety that ripples out to friends and family, there are other serious health implications from staying connected. “If we don’t switch off from work we don’t recover from work,” says Anna Cox, professor of human-computer interaction at University College London, who specialises in researching work-life balance. “Initially that starts to affect your productivity. When you work you’re tired. Ultimately, if you don’t recover from work properly, it can lead to all sorts of physical and mental health problems.”

除了造成焦虑、影响家人朋友之外,心系工作还会造成其它严重的健康问题。伦敦大学学院(University College London)的人机交互专业教授考克斯(Anna Cox)表示:"如果我们不能从工作中抽身,就无法从工作中恢复过来。起初,这会开始影响你的工作效率。你一开始工作就感到疲惫。最终,如果不能很好地恢复正常状态,就会造成各种生理和心理的健康问题。"

Data gathered by a regular survey of employees for the European Working Conditions Survey shows that those who report working more outside regular working hours, for instance, report higher levels of cardiovascular conditions and musculoskeletal pain.

在《欧洲工作条件调查》(European Working Conditions Survey)中,一项对雇员的定期调查中收集的数据显示,那些在非上班时间工作更长时间的人,有更严重的心血管问题和骨骼肌疼痛。

But a blanket ban on emails outside working hours isn’t universally welcomed.

然而,并不是所有人都认同对非工作时间处理邮件实行一刀切禁令。

In France for instance, Gonord is uncertain whether the law has worked as designed. His employer didn’t compel him to check emails even before the introduction of the right to disconnect, but he would occasionally check in in order to keep projects on track. “If your company enforces the right to disconnect – by shutting down email access to employees – you have no choice to disconnect,” he says. “I’d feel a pressure, which is what the law was trying to prevent.”

比如在法国,郭诺赫并不确定法律的效果是否符合其设计初衷。即使在法规颁布之前,他的雇主也不会强迫他处理邮件,但他还是会时不时看一看,确保项目正常进行。他说:"如果你的公司强制要求所有人行使不处理邮件的权利,关闭员工获取邮件的通道,那你就毫无选择,必须切断与工作的联系。这样我会感到有压力,而这本是法律希望避免的。"

Others feel enshrining the weekend in law won’t necessarily be effective, nor that it will be likely to be implemented in other countries.

其他人认为,用法律保障周末时光并不一定高效,而且未必能在其他国家施行。

“We’re a long way from that, I think, when you think about the way we have so much flexibility,” explains Cox. She believes we’ve swung so far away from traditional 9-to-5 working that implementing strict “timetables” for checking emails would be as vehemently opposed in the UK or the US as it was supported in France.

考克斯说:"你想想,我们可以有很多灵活的处理方式,这个目标还远远没有达到。"她觉得,我们的工作已经远不需要传统的朝九晚五,那种工作要求严格按照"时间表"查收邮件。法国人对这项法律的支持程度有多强烈,美国人和英国人就有多反对。

There’s one further concern, too.

还有另一个问题。

“It’s unenforceable,” says Cooper. “If you’re feeling job insecure and there’s high unemployment like they have in France, are you going to go to your employer and say, ‘I’m sorry, I’m taking you to court?’”

库珀说:"这项法律无法执行。如果你感觉工作不稳定,社会失业率和法国一样高,你还会去雇主那里说'抱歉,我要起诉你'吗?"

Instead, Cooper feels co-operation is needed between workers and their employers to ensure they’re able to enjoy time away from the screen and the stresses of email. Delete your work email account from your inbox, and leave the worries until Monday.

库珀认为,雇员和雇主之间需要合作,确保他们能够享受远离电脑屏幕和邮件压力的时光。删去收件箱里的工作账号,把焦虑留到周一吧。

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