1 Nov 2018

Digital switch-off not enough - ex-software engineer

8:16 am on 1 November 2018

Workers plagued by emails outside of normal hours say 2degrees' new digital switch-off for staff does not go far enough.

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Photo: 123rf

The telecommunications company told Morning Report yesterday it had started a trial allowing employees the option of ignoring emails outside work hours.

Human resources head Jodie Shelley said staff would still be allowed to send emails.

"We want to make sure that people who do have flexible working arrangements can still send emails at a time that works for them.

"We realise that the face of work is changing, [that] the future of work is different.

"We're no longer an eight to five business and so we recognise that you send emails at times that work for you."

But a former software engineer, Anna Friedlander, who lives in Hamilton, said if 2degrees was serious about creating a good work-life balance, sending emails to off-duty employees should be banned.

"The company could still be encouraging people not to send emails after hours, perhaps people could schedule emails to be sent during working hours.

"I think it's quite simple to set up something like that - it wouldn't be an undue burden."

Ms Friedlander said in her former job there was an expectation that she would respond to messages at home.

Eventually she decided enough was enough.

"Leaving my computer at work and leaving my phone at work meant that I didn't get work emails during dinner time or when I was going to bed or first thing in the morning.

"It really didn't affect my output [or] performance, if anything probably I was more energised when I got to work because I wasn't thinking about work all night."