Several European countries have instituted bans and limits on off-hours work. Is it time for the U.S. to follow suit?

Business and HR blogs blew up recently over the news that several European countries have instituted bans and limits on after-hours work.

In France, workers unions in the technology and consultancy sectors signed a legally binding labor agreement requiring workers to unplug from work calls and emails after 6 p.m.

In Germany, the employment ministry cited a desire to prevent employee burn-out when they told managers to stop calling or emailing their staff after-hours except in the case of a true emergency.

And in Sweden, the city of Gothenburg announced a new experiment in six-hour workdays for some of its employees, in the hopes of increasing worker productivity and mental health.

All of this lead to some pretty hot debate over whether other countries should follow suit — and what that could mean for employers and employees alike.

For some great discussions on the topic, check out the National Post (Canada) article here, Human Capital (Australia) article here, and Fast Company’s article here.

What do you think about these workday limits? Should the U.S. adopt similar measures?


  1. No Nonsense Landlord

    Great, now that I am nearing FI, no one has to work??

    Eliminate the income tax, replace it with a sales tax. Follow it up with no deductions for overseas labor to bring back jobs.

  2. LauraA

    My experience is there is better work life balance overall in Europe, but less equlity for women in the workplace, particularly if they have children. Just my experience, it may not be across the board.

  3. Antoinette

    I would so welcome this in the US. Though the equality for women is not really there, the same can sometime be said for here in the United States. Women here are usually made to feel that in order to be a successful woman in the workplace you mush give up having a life &/or family commitments and if you don’t you are perceived as weak.

Comments are closed.