To a casual observer, it might appear that time management has fallen to the wayside at many workplaces today: employees work well beyond their scheduled hours, including while on lunch breaks, during leisure time and social events and even on vacation. But with proper scheduling, time management should prevent work from expanding beyond regular work hours—as was the case before the Internet age. Instead, in the "knowledge economy", where the smart phone rules, scheduled work hours have become nearly meaningless.
The reality of today's workplaces is that employees are stressed because they not only face excess work duties, but they work long hours, which keeps them away from their homes, families and leisure for long periods of time. According to many HR and legal experts, the results of overworked employees are distraction and low productivity in the company, forcing employers to demand even more hours from their employees, among other things. Everybody I talk to seems to think that the solution of a four-day workweek should enhance employee effectiveness and productivity, reduce stress, improve employees' enjoyment of work, and balance their work/life.
We’ve been hearing lately that in the United States employers are being held liable to employees for overtime compensation for using PDAs/BlackBerrys after hours for work and for checking work-related emails. We've been made aware of four such class action suits by employees that allege, among other claims, that the company provides them with BlackBerrys or other smart devices, and that they are required to review and respond to work-related emails and text messages at all hours of the day, amounting to 10 to 15 overtime hours per week.