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What if emails are counted as work during your trip?



LONDON – Should commuting hours count as part of the working day?

The suggestion to take the hurdles out to employers everywhere was made by university researchers in England who studied the commuting habits of thousands of rail travelers

It is no secret that the expansion of Wi-Fi in trains, planes and automobiles facto-extension of the working day has resulted and employees are tying to their electronic devices when sending and receiving countless work e-mails

The researchers at the West University of England found that more than half of respondents did their work Read emails and scour working documents on their journey.

"As an academic, nobody disturbs my work as long as it's done," said Juliet Jain, a senior research fellow at Bristol University's Center for Transport Society, in a telephone interview. She found that most of the study participants saw workloads "not as official working hours but as something that would make their lives easier".

Over 40 weeks in 2016 and 2017, the University Team surveyed 5,000 commuters traveled up to 250 miles daily for work on two heavy-duty lines that run from London to Birmingham and Aylesbury.

The workers were examined for the use of the free wireless internet on the routes. The team initially focused on business travelers and found that commuters used their rides to get work done. The longer the route, the more work has been done.

Fifty-four percent of commuters on the longer route – Birmingham to London – and 36 percent on the shorter – Aylesbury to London – checked and sent work emails during rides

The team's conclusions should be submitted to the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday , Dr. Jain said the commuter study is still in the exploration phase. Any change in the length of the working week would have to come from the British Government.

But some European countries have proposed regulatory changes to accommodate longer journeys and the seemingly permanent availability of the mobile Internet. And a lawsuit brought before a European Court of Justice last year could affect how working time is calculated across the continent.

The court ruled that some workers in Norway were able to calculate their working time as working time, they may not work hard, they are available to their employer.

This summer, France's supreme court ordered a British company to pay 60,000 euros (more than $ 70,000) to one of its workers in France for compensation after asking the company to have their phones at all times for questions and complaints to answer by customers and subordinates.

Alexandra Sabbe-Ferri, a Paris-based lawyer specializing in employee rights, said in a telephone interview that although in the case of on-call service and not the right of separation, this was a signal to both companies as well as for workers who take personal time seriously.

"The right of separation reminds everyone we should have a reasonable attitude towards new technologies," said Ms Sabbe-Ferri. "Permanent access does not mean we should work all the time."

For the time being, the French regulation of the right of separation exists only theoretically until the courts interpret it.


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