Putting employees on a digital leash.

AS a trend, employees are exploited and treated unfairly in the country, and are considered personal assets of employers. They are often treated as slaves or robots at the beck and call of their masters. It is a common practice in our part of the world that employees are contacted even after office hours and called back for some 'missing' information.

They are tethered through digital communication even on weekends, holidays and vacations, without the slightest consideration for their mental and physical health. Clearly, such intrusions by the employers disrupt the employees' work-life balance.

It is becoming illegal now in many countries to contact employees after office hours, with the exception of some actual and tangible emergency. According to the United States Department of Labour, a work emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens employees, customers or the public; disrupts or shuts down operations; or causes physical or environmental damage.

But here, sadist employers with their colonial mindset deliberately keep their employees on the digital leash after office hours, on weekends and even during vacations.

France, Germany and Portugal have formed laws barring businesses and offices from contacting employees after work hours. The freedom to disconnect with office after work hours has been acknowledged as employees' fundamental right. The employers who dare trespass personal boundaries of the employees stand to incur fines as per the laws enacted in those countries. In Germany, it is strictly prohibited to dismiss employees if they fail to take phone calls after work hours.

In countries like ours where the colonial past is still present, employers or bosses under the hubris of officialdom, or with superhuman powers vested by departmental hierarchy, behave like the Orwellian Big Brother, running their offices as their 'nanny states'. Just because they can.


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