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Right to digital disconnection: reality or utopia?

On December 6, 2018, Organic Law 3/2018 on the Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights was approved in Spain, a step forward in the awareness that a digital disconnection from our work is increasingly imperative, to the time to respect the rest hours of the companies and institutions of our country.

In fact, thanks to this new law, employees are exempt from having to connect to electronic mail, mobile or any other digital device during holiday periods or after finishing the daily workday. It is a measure implemented to help reduce the levels of stress, anxiety and job exhaustion that are becoming increasingly prominent in today’s world of work.

The harmful effects of new technologies

This is mainly due to the digital hyperconnectivity in which we live: on the one hand, the possibility of being in constant connection without the need of our physical presence in a given place has given rise to the schedules, the way of working and understanding in the world of work is diversified (telecommuting, entrepreneurs who develop their activity on the Internet, more flexible working hours, etc.).

However, it has also led to an environment in which it is very difficult to establish the barrier between what is work, and what is private life. Thus, many find it still very difficult not to check email, answer phone calls or attend to any other work-related task outside office hours, something that can increase stress levels and even end up leading to the syndrome of the burned worker, the well-known ‘burnout’.

The importance of disconnecting

On the other hand, the inability to disconnect from work can also lead to family problems derived from the lack of attention to the personal area, something that, in turn, can end up having an impact on our professional field. To avoid falling into these unhealthy habits, it is essential to learn to manage time and know-how to schedule all those activities that we could not finish during our workday for the next day.

If it is something very (VERY) urgent, we should try to manage it at that time and as quickly as possible. Once we have left our ‘job’, we must focus on our personal activities (exercising, hanging out with friends, being with our family, etc.) without feeling guilty, since the hours we dedicate to our disconnection will have a more impact That positive not only in our well-being, but also in our performance the next day.

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