Develop, represent, and promote the next generation of business professionals
20 July 2022

What if we (really) drop out during the vacations?


As the summer vacation period is in full swing and the hectic pace of daily life and the gradual return to the office continues, we sometimes forget the need to maintain a balance between our professional and personal lives.

For the past few months, Montreal has been buzzing with activity, and we are all experiencing a very intensive recovery with events and festivals, since this year again, many challenges related to the pandemic have arisen. On the other hand, all sectors tend to vibrate again.

At the Salon Connexion organized by Les Affaires last June, Philippe Richard Bertrand presented the Test qui fait du bien, an online tool designed by mental health experts in collaboration with the Public Health Department of the City of Montreal, which allows companies and organizations that care about the psychological health of their employees to have access to adapted solutions. At the end of his conference, he specified that it is now and in the coming months at work that many "fall or will fall in battle", and that it is important to keep in mind that we are weakened by these two years of pandemic.

Beyond the right to disconnect outside of working hours, the more global question of hyperconnection and digital over-solicitation and their impact on health and efficiency at work arises.

Within teams in general, hyperconnection is increasingly discussed, and emails, exchanges via Teams or Slack and texting (often outside of working hours), are multiplying.

In order to remedy this problem, it is important to think about establishing concrete modalities.

Last June, the JCCM launched a survey of its social media subscribers on the subject. Nearly half (47%) of respondents felt that the boundary between their personal and professional lives was unclear or non-existent. Also, 70% responded that the organization that employs them does not have a right to disconnect policy. We can therefore see that companies are adopting concrete measures regarding disconnection at varying rates.

What is done internationally?

Last June, Habi Gerba, president and spokesperson for the JCCM, emphasized in an open letter published in La Presse, the urgency of taking action and putting in place measures to equip businesses and provide a framework for this new way of working. Following this publication, some organizations contacted us to ask how to start implementing a right to disconnect policy. Here are some of our suggestions to consider before developing a best practices guide and a formal policy for your organization

Encourage the use of the tool to defer email or even mute your notifications on days off or weekends.

Add a note like the following under your email signature: My work schedule may be different from yours. Please do not feel obligated to respond to this email outside of your normal work hours. Lead by example: a practice that can also be adopted upstream is to ask managers in your organization to stress the importance of taking vacation time and the benefits of taking time off.

Respect scheduled rest and break times (such as lunch breaks) and do not hold meetings during them, or schedule individual work periods without internal or external meetings on a weekly basis.