WFH gets overtime …in Portugal

Just when you thought the world is not ready to appreciate the full value that WFH holds, the world throws up Portugal. Plagued by your boss calling you just when you are about to chomp down a tandoori leg at dinner? Worry not. Precedent is near. On November 5, the Portuguese parliament passed a law that penalises – monetarily – employers contacting their staff after work hours. While many have gone on about how home office means employees slacking off – binge-watching the new Special Ops 1.5 episodes instead of getting gritty on this quarterly – very few have warned against bosses who treat WFH as a 24×7 call centre. Not only has the wise and industrious Portugal ensured a work-life balance for employees, but it has also banned officers from monitoring workers at home. After all, the output – both quality and quantity – is all that matters, not how one produces it.

The ‘right to disconnect‘ – turning off one’s communication device(s) after work hours – has, thankfully, not passed. That would have discounted the reality of work that occasionally needs to be done, information that needs to be exchanged even after shut-shop. There’s always paying overtime. But the law has been silent about bosses being harangued after office hours by the pesky ones. To know how that goes, watch this non-cubicle space.


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