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  (Source: dumpaday.com)
This follows the 35-hour work week rule

Certain French citizens are being forced to power down when the work day is over, meaning employers must leave workers alone once they go home.

According to The Australian, a new French labor deal -- which is a legally binding deal signed by employers' federations and unions representing workers in the digital and consultancy sectors -- says that employees are to shut off work devices and avoid work emails after going home for the day.

The ruling applies to all companies in the technology and consultancy sectors. It was brought forth after a study found that 39 percent of workers and 77 percent of managers used their smartphones, tablets and computers for work purposes in the evenings, during weekends and even on holidays.

On the employer's end, they are not to pressure workers into checking emails or doing any extra tasks after the work day is over.

This rule follows a similar measure introduced in France in 1999, which stipulates a 35-hour work week. The idea was to reduce unemployment because employers would have to hire more workers to fill in the extra hours. However, it hasn't worked out so well -- unemployment in France is currently at 10.2 percent.

Nevertheless, French citizens seem to love the 35-hour work week and will likely hop onboard with the new "no work at home" rule as well. 

“We must also measure digital working time," said Michel De La Force, chairman of the General Confederation of Managers. "We can admit extra work in exceptional circumstances but we must always come back to what is normal, which is to unplug, to stop being permanently at work.”


Source: The Australian



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Can't stand working for the French
By BillyBatson on 4/9/2014 5:19:45 PM , Rating: 4
I work for a French bilingual private school in the LA area and the one thing I have learned about French people is that they are the laziest people I've ever met and the only thing they do is complain. 35 hour work week.... Sounds like there is no ambition in France.




RE: Can't stand working for the French
By ZoZo on 4/9/2014 6:22:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
35 hour work week.... Sounds like there is no ambition in France.


Pray tell, ambition of what?


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By BillyBatson on 4/9/2014 7:00:08 PM , Rating: 3
Anything at all. If you feel that 35 hours of work a week is all you need to do so no over time, no burning the late night oil, you aren't trying harder than your co-workers, then you have no ambition. If you country is over 10% unemployed and those who are emptied are fighting to work less, there is a problem.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By BillyBatson on 4/9/2014 7:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
emptied=employed


By W00dmann on 4/11/2014 3:51:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I work for a French bilingual private school in the LA area and the one thing I have learned about French people is that they are the laziest people I've ever met and the only thing they do is complain. 35 hour work week.... Sounds like there is no ambition in France.


Agreed. If anybody feels this is overly harsh, visit France and see for yourself.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By mgilbert on 4/9/2014 9:54:28 PM , Rating: 4
You know, there are things more important than work. I have always refused to work weekends and overtime. I made that decision early in life, and I've never regretted it. No one on their deathbed ever wished they had worked more.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Keeir on 4/10/2014 12:58:23 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
No one on their deathbed ever wished they had worked more.


Hah! That's far from true.

"Work" encompasses a lot of different meanings. Some people find a sense of accomplishment in their work. I think many people wish they accomplished more.


By mgilbert on 4/10/2014 9:13:32 AM , Rating: 2
Semantics...


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By RapidDissent on 4/10/2014 3:03:27 PM , Rating: 3
Stupid comment. lol

work = labor

We're not talking about sculptors or philosophers or cosmologists. We're talking about real people, real laborers. You think a coal miner walked to the gates wishing he completed the northwest cut ahead of schedule? Chances are he was thinking about his wife, or more likely, his dog and possibly his children... or lack there of.

What you are trying to bundle within the concept of "work" is what is called "play." Painting pictures and contemplating the meaning of life is vaguely considered work only because you can be paid for it. A baby wiggling around in his car seat on a movie set is "working" but only in a legal sense, not in a literal sense.

Anyway, work is something you do to pay for everything in your life that is not work. There are those that do it differently, but those people are a minority. 999 out of 1000 people will tell you they just want to put in their hours and go home. They may have aspirations as to how those hours are put in, but they do not live for the grind.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By CSMR on 4/10/2014 8:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
No that's a stupid comment.

"Work is something you do to pay for everything in your life that is not work."

In general yes.

So if people are lazy, or are restricted from working more, they may be able to do less in life, including having and looking after a family.

A lazy person can easily regret not working harder and therefore not achieving as much in life, either through his work or through the money and respect that comes from work.


By Keeir on 4/11/2014 1:17:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stupid comment. lol


I'm glad I don't have your job.

As a "product designer", if I died tomorrow, there would be a long list of things I would have prefer to accomplished. Many of these would require spending time at the office working through the nitty gritty unhappy details that must be solved before the fun stuff happens.

quote:
We're not talking about sculptors or philosophers or cosmologists. We're talking about real people, real laborers


Hilarious. You release the article is about protecting workers from being pressured to use their smartphones to accomplish work after hours right?


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Arsynic on 4/10/2014 12:01:13 PM , Rating: 4
I agree whole-heartedly with that. The problem is when people with this philosophy complain about the people who do work their ass off and are rich because of it. Then they vote in politicians to transfer wealth from the rich to themselves when they aren't productive.

So I'm cool with people who don't want to work alot--if they realize that they probably won't make as much money and don't complain about and demonize those that do.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By dgingerich on 4/10/2014 3:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
While I concur that there are better things in life than to work overtime and burn yourself out trying to make tons of money, the French are taking this to an extreme, and their country is hurting for it.

I'm a systems admin in a test lab. I typically don't work more than the 40 hour work week. I'll come in and fix something during off hours if there is an emergency and someone can't work, but that's not often. I'll do a weekend project from time to time, but I prefer to get time off during that week to not exceed 40 hours. I don't actively check my emails during the evenings or weekends, but my phone will tell me about them. It's a comfy, relaxed job, mostly. I've fixed things up so that much time is saved in getting requests done. I probably don't actually do work for more than 30 hours per week. It might even be closer to 20 hours per week lately. I have a lot of "send and email and wait for a response" or "schedule a meeting to get info from others" type work. It's more herding cats than computer work. Of course, most others in this job would probably be doing overtime. I have a particular talent for finding easier and faster ways of doing things and getting them done right. I can also typically figure out what is causing a problem in seconds and fix it in minutes. I can plan out a nation wide, 7 site migration plan and document it in less than half an hour, with detailed documentation done in less than two hours. (I just did this last week, when my boss told me to dedicate two days on the plan. I even had contingencies included in those detailed plans.)

However, this idea of forcing a 35 hour work week and forcing employers to not come back at employees who won't do something as simple as check email when at home will only come back and bite them. Most people aren't like me, and take much more time to get things done. Most people need time to get things done. Each person is different, but most people fit in a certain range, and that range shows that people can't do a decent job while working this little and putting this little effort into it.

The French are already hurting because of their attitude. Their unemployment rate is very high, and they've had riots over the lack of work for some people. This is only going to make things worse.


By ianweck on 4/11/2014 7:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The French are already hurting because of their attitude. Their unemployment rate is very high, and they've had riots over the lack of work for some people. This is only going to make things worse.


Hey, maybe they can cut the work week down to 20 hours, and just share jobs with someone? Cut the unemployment rate in half!


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By ShieTar on 4/10/14, Rating: 0
RE: Can't stand working for the French
By dgingerich on 4/10/2014 3:55:10 PM , Rating: 2
That's a bunch of bull. There's always enough work for everyone, as long as they're willing to do it.

work more -> increase company productivity -> workers get paid more (or they should, if management has any brains) -> people spend more -> more demand for products -> more work to do -> more people get to work -> more work getting done -> back to the beginning

Add more people to this, and the whole cycle gets bigger, as long as they're looking to work for what they get. This is why immigration is good for countries, and free hand outs are bad. Also, the more people save, then more it hurts the economy. Make more and spend more and it improves the economy so that everyone makes more and spends more, but iy has to be on the personal side. Government doesn't make anything, so government spending is a drag on the economy. That's what the US economy has been about for over 50 years. That's why we are rich. Ambition and materialism drive it.

The only reason there's such high unemployment in Europe is because they're in a back-slide. The general attitude in Europe is less work, so productivity slides and the whole system grinds to a halt, then people begin to starve. Cutting up the work like you're proposing only drives the whole thing into the ground faster.


By Noonecares on 4/10/2014 7:34:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
work more -> increase company productivity -> workers get paid more (or they should, if management has any brains) -> people spend more -> more demand for products -> more work to do -> more people get to work -> more work getting done -> back to the beginning


You have a nice dream sir. Outsourcing. I would like for you to count the things in your room or on your body that is Made in America.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Mint on 4/11/2014 9:39:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's a bunch of bull. There's always enough work for everyone, as long as they're willing to do it.

LOL, you obviously are still living in the pre-2008 world where we can fuel consumption with endless amounts of debt.

The wealthy are saving money at an unprecedented rate, despite sub-inflation rates making it lose value. If they're not buying or building stuff with that money instead, then what work is there to be done?

You know which European country's employees work the most hours per year? Greece. 2034 hours per year average, which is well above the 1790 in the US. What does it get them? 27.5% unemployment.
quote:
work more -> increase company productivity -> workers get paid more (or they should, if management has any brains) -> people spend more -> more demand for products
Put a little more thought into this to see the truth.

If a company can hire two workers doing 60hrs/wk instead of three doing 40hrs/wk at the same combined $100k/yr wages to do the same work, does total consumption go up or down?

The reality is that the more people earn, the higher percentage of income they save, and the lower percentage of that income is spent on products. You got the result backwards, like most supply-siders do.

There's only two ways to reduce unemployment in the modern world: forced spending (direct from the gov't or through redistribution) and forced sharing of work available. Sorry to bust your minimal-gov't-solves-everything bubble.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Keeir on 4/11/2014 1:43:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, there is no problem. Working hours have reduced in western Europe over the last decades because productivity has increase greatly, and there is just no more work to be found. The original article fails to mention and to understand that unemployment would be significantly higher than 10% with a 40-hour-week, and that the 35-hour-week was very successful for those European industries which have chosen it. And indeed, fighting to "work less" means fighting to share the remaining work with more people, in order to fight unemployment. There is no problem, only social conscience.

Just to give you an example, here at Airbus we do 35 hours a week both in France and Germany, and get a 400k $ per Year productivity out of it. I truly don't see how that is supposed to be a problem, and I don't see a problem with cutting back 5 hours a week, hiring a few more engineers, and sharing the wealth a little more.


Now this is interesting.

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=PDB_G...

GDP/Hour Worked - Hours/Person/Year - Umemployment

Spain : 41.2 - 641 - 25%
France : 49.1 - 609 - 10%
Germany : 49.2 - 707 - 5%
UK : 42.4 - 766 - 8%
United States: 56.2 - 806 - 7%

Germany and the United States both seem to find more than enough work for their people, despite having high productivity.

Somehow, the United States has lower unemployment than France, despite higher productivity, higher hours worked on average, and higher worked per worker!


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Mint on 4/11/2014 12:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think you should be looking at hours per employee per year, not hours per capita.

I'm not convinced unemployment is measured the same way, either. Too many people get discounted in the US. Employment to population ratio dropped from ~63% in the last couple decades to 59% now:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/EMRATI...
If we assume 4% pre-recession, that would imply ~10-11% true unemployment today.

The OECD stats page seems to define E-P ratio slightly differently, as the figures are different for the US, but we can still do a comparison:
http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=LFS_S...
It's true that fewer people choose to work in France, but its E-P ratio has been much more stable, suggesting minimal dodgy statistics.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By ianweck on 4/11/2014 7:33:48 PM , Rating: 2
What I get from both of you is that you can argue whatever you want, when you look at the right numbers.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Mint on 4/11/2014 9:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that true about life in general? No matter your position, you can act like your opinion is right and/or representative of the people, depending on the news source you listen to.

The point of discussion is to open yourself up to data that weren't exposed to before, and use your judgement to find the truth. I've changed my mind on many things as I became aware of more and more data.


By Keeir on 4/13/2014 2:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you should be looking at hours per employee per year, not hours per capita.


No...

The poster I was responding to made an assertion like this:

Employment percentage = Workers with Jobs/Workers without Jobs
Worker with Jobs = Hours Available/Hours Worked per Employee
Hours Available = Work Available/Productivity

Therefore, because France's productivity was so high, they needed to have 35 hour work weeks to increase Employment percentage.

My point I was trying to make, is that even though the US producitivity is high, this doesn't dampen employment figures significant, because for some "reason" the US has much more available work per population. In fact, it appears that France has relatively high unemployment for its producivity, and other large economies actually reduce unemployment with high producitivty. Therefore, there must be other significant factors at work and the equations proposed by the poster are far too simple.

quote:
The OECD stats page seems to define E-P ratio slightly differently, as the figures are different for the US, but we can still do a comparison:


I choose to use the OECD figures because the OECD is a European/French organization. The important part isn't the exact statistics but the overall trend. The OECD would have no reason to overly bias the US numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_for_Econ...

---

Personally, I think France has a problem where the Unit Labour Costs are higher than both Germany and the United States. The reason for French unemployment has more to do with this gap, then a "lack of work". Typical hours workers per employee factors into this... because in many industries there is a large fixed cost in having an employee, and only a small marginal cost in having them work extra hours. Thus the "35 hour" work week is increasing the relatively unit cost of French labour, creating a lower demand for Frencyh labour, leading to overall less hours worked and less (positive) impact on employment percentage than might be imagined. IE, where a business used to have 1,400 hours of work per week being done by 35 employees (40 hours/week), doesn't mean they will have 1,400 hours of work done by 40 employees (35 hours/week). They may choose instead to have 1330 hours of work done by 38 employees.. or even 1190 hours by 34 people.

However, I can't find any solid statistical measurements that compare both the US and France in this regard, so this is mearly a logical hypothesis (based in part on declining returns of productivity and the 80/20 rule). This hypothesis however is meant as a overarching total economy statement. French workers obviously are more productivity/cost less in some areas than their US counterparts. The poster example of Airbus however is a good illustration of the differences of business stradegies. Comparing the commerical air division of EADS (Airbus) to its US equivalent, Boeing Commerical Air, we find that Airbus over the past 5-10 years has a profit percentage 1/2 to 1/3 of the Boeing one. If EADS/Airbus was not locked into European employement, it might have shifted a great deal of employement to other areas (which to a certain extent it is doing by opening Airbus factories in the United States and China)


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By ZoZo on 4/10/2014 7:55:29 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry to break it to you but professional ambitions are not the only ambitions in life. Some people don't live to work but work to live. Not everyone can get an interesting job and be happy to work 60 hours per week on it.

Making friends, having children, exploring the world, getting talents (music, cooking, ...), cultivating yourself, building your personal projects, and so on are many components of other ambitions.

Try harder than co-workers? What for? Crush them, show who's superior? Earn more and dangle it in front of their puny faces? Wonderful world. Leave competition for sports, not livelihood.

And by the way, your logic is one-sided. If those who are employed fight to work less, one could argue that it would free up work for others. Better 2 people working 30 hours than 1 person working 60.


By BillyBatson on 4/10/2014 5:54:50 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct professional ambitions are not the only ambitions in life and I wouldn't expect 100% of employees to work over time all the time, but when your country has an unemployment problem yet you are introducing LAWS preventing people from working more, THERE IS A PROBLEM!!!!!!

I don't care what any of you say I am the one who works with over 90% French people and I am telling you they are lazy ass complainers every single one of them. Our employees come directly from France, many of them not speaking a word of english, for 2-3 years at a time before their visa is up and we swap them out for fresh employees. They are all mortified at our 40 hour work weeks and they skip out as soon as possible. I am glad hard work still means something here in the US even if not everyone is participating. Imagine if our government said we couldn't work more than 35 hours a week how many people would be upset, and how many lives it would impact negatively.
You guys can rate me down but doesn't mean I won't fight back, I am not French after all =D


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By BillyBatson on 4/10/2014 6:02:09 PM , Rating: 2
Leave competition for sports, not livelihood.
Are you serious? LOL. This I definitely don't agree with. You can choose not to compete but that is your choice, me on the other hand will compete as hard as humanly possible every minute of the 40-50 hours I spend at work a week so that I can move up, make more, carry more influence, and I enjoy having a lot of responsibility. When I leave work I don't think about work. Why only compete in sports where you get absolutely nothing out of it other than exercise which you do not need to compete to get, compete at work where you DO get something out of it like more money, more freedom in your personal life, and so many other things.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By TSS on 4/11/2014 10:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
This is basically the best example of the difference in culture between the US and europe.

More work = more freedom in your personal life? Hah, no. Not here in europe anyways. Oh look, it's a great day outside, think i'll head over to the terrace for a beer.... oh wait, gotta work. Some freedom.

50 hours per week? I hope you get paid overtime. Here, that means atleast a 50% salary increase. 100% if it's more then 3 hours. Even in IT. If not, balls to that, one spends too much time chained to a desk anyway.

More influence if you have more money? Not around here. More wisdom/knowledge carries more influence, you can be the poorest person on the block if you're the smartest/wisest everybody will listen to you instead of the person who's squandering buckets of money. The only people who listen to people with more money are usually those who don't know anything themselves, thus consider worthless paper the standard of a good life.

Get nothing out of sports? You get enjoyment that's what. It's not about winning it's about playing the game, spending time with eachother. The only exception is if you're getting paid to win. But then it becomes a job, business and pleasure are (usually) seperated.

Doesn't mean you're not supposed to enjoy work, if you love doing something and can turn it into your livelyhood more power to ya. But to work hard at any menial job just to try and earn more worthless paper? Hell no. We'll do what's required and that's it.

That said working hard isn't exactly encouraged anymore in my country, not since the "manager culture" took hold. If you wanna get into CEO positions you'll do a "manager eduction" which'll catapult you straight into a mid-level position right out of college. To rise up in responsibility and pay you don't have to do anything except not make any decisions that screw up the people below you who do actual work. As long as you don't screw with the people who actually know what they're doing and just go around having meetings all day you'll rise to the top in no time.


By nick2000 on 4/10/2014 12:27:09 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I worked for 15 years in France and for 17 years in the US. Work was for more intense in France than in the US and, interestingly, breaks were the same thing... I frankly found America's work pace rather slow (not complaining mind you)
Of course, this is anecdotal so it may depends on the company you work (big corporation versus small company, ...) for or the people you end up working with.


By BZDTemp on 4/10/2014 6:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you're not getting it. The idea is to work smart not hard.

Now I don't live in France but Denmark and we are doing pretty well and that with 37 hour working weeks, six weeks paid yearly vacation, off days if ones children get sick, 52 weeks maternity leave (to be divided by the parents as they see fit)... it is simply a question of work/life balance that let people be happy and thus super productive.


By DougF on 4/10/2014 8:34:47 AM , Rating: 4
Sorry, but the Middle East has the category of "laziest" all sewn up...with first through 20th places taken.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Da W on 4/10/2014 9:19:47 AM , Rating: 3
I beg to differ.
Latinos are worst.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By Arsynic on 4/10/2014 11:56:23 AM , Rating: 2
This is the same country that swung from radical left socialists to radical right in less than 5 years. So evidently they are lazy thinkers as well.


RE: Can't stand working for the French
By nick2000 on 4/10/2014 12:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
Are you talking about head of states? Well, I guess that we only have radical right and moderate right in the US so yeah we swing less but we still swing as often. Are we lazy thinkers too?


By Arsynic on 4/10/2014 1:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. Obama got elected twice.


Ummm
By Dr of crap on 4/9/14, Rating: 0
RE: Ummm
By Rukkian on 4/9/2014 3:46:41 PM , Rating: 4
That may sound good on paper, until your employer says you have to respond, or pressures you.

I am not saying this is right, but just not checking would get you a lot more free time in many companies (at least in the US).


RE: Ummm
By MrBlastman on 4/9/2014 4:18:36 PM , Rating: 5
There are plenty of sociopathic managers out there. They are obsessed with their own wealth and promotion within the organization and care little about your own health. As long as they get promoted out, they could care little if you die the next day due to malnutrition because of their demands.

So as much as I'm for free markets, limits to workplace hours are needed as much as child labor laws. I'm not stating what they might be--just that they should be there.

With the current technological revolution, the once 9 - 5, 5 day a week job is dying with more companies expecting you to be at their beck and call all the time--while refusing to give pay increases to line employees while the executive team routinely gives themselves a 20-50% pay raise every year netting them millions of dollars.


RE: Ummm
By Reclaimer77 on 4/9/2014 7:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
they could care little if you die the next day due to malnutrition because of their demands.


Well I'm certainly glad you aren't resorting to hyperbole to make your point.


RE: Ummm
By MrBlastman on 4/9/2014 9:01:42 PM , Rating: 2
I use hyperbole all the time. It works great for CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and Fox. :)


RE: Ummm
By inperfectdarkness on 4/10/2014 3:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
We're definitely headed the Foxconn direction. When I used to work retail, store managers & assistants were scheduled for 60 hour work weeks--EVERY WEEK; and they were still expected to be able to come in for emergencies. And assistant managers were making...maybe...$45,000 per year.

There are some companies/places that recognize productivity and the effects of long hours on it. There are plenty more who just don't care. Frankly, I don't care when someone sends their employee a tasking. But unless that employee is "on call" (read: primary duty is on-call, it's not a general status every time he/she is off work) that employee shouldn't be required to respond until the next working day. Period. If your company is THAT bad off that everything has to happen IMMEDIATELY, you need new management.


RE: Ummm
By Da W on 4/10/2014 6:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
I had a boss who asked me to give the hone number of a collegue so he could call her a saturday night. I refused. He fired me.


RE: Ummm
By MrBlastman on 4/10/2014 10:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
I salute you sir, for having integrity! We need more of that in this world.


RE: Ummm
By spamreader1 on 4/11/2014 8:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
In most if not all states that would be wrongful termination...somehow I suspect there is more to that story.


RE: Ummm
By tng on 4/9/2014 3:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Right.

I am still wondering about this a little...
quote:
It was brought forth after a study found that 39 percent of workers and 77 percent of managers used their smartphones, tablets and computers for work purposes in the evenings, during weekends and even on holidays.
Was this something that was to prove that employers are to blame or just that this happens?

quote:
This rule follows a similar measure introduced in France in 1999, which stipulates a 35-hour work week. The idea was to reduce unemployment because employers would have to hire more workers to fill in the extra hours. However, it hasn't worked out so well -- unemployment in France is currently at 10.2 percent.
Just because some pinhead in government says this should work doesn't mean it will.

I will say that they last time I was in France for work, it turned out to be the best vacation I ever have had! We never really worked more than 4 hours in a day. Lunches were usually up to 4 hours long, work didn't start until 9:30AM and we were out by 4PM. Great time.

Not sure really how they get anything done over there.


RE: Ummm
By bsd228 on 4/9/2014 4:10:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Not sure really how they get anything done over there.


their economic results show they don't.

This latest move would preclude any meaningful collaboration with groups in other time zones, or a successful FTS (Follow The Sun) organization.

I work with people in Dublin and Singapore. Occasionally I choose to communicate with them on their day, rather than my California one. Insisting they all work on my time may be great for me personally, but it's hardly a win for the company, or for me and them in any long term perspective.


RE: Ummm
By ZoZo on 4/9/2014 5:04:12 PM , Rating: 1
So cliche. Did you go there on a business trip or did you stay a prolonged time (months)?
Because while the culture in France (as in other countries) is to use visitors from abroad as an excuse to have a good time and work less, on an average day French people do work and are quite productive.


RE: Ummm
By tng on 4/9/2014 5:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
I stayed 6 days...

I really needed to get to a call in Germany the next week. I had looked forward to having some time to spend on my own, but thanks to the way things work in France I was not really able to spend any time there, just one night in Stuttgart at the airport of all places.

This was in in Provence, just East of Marseille. Out in the country, beautiful area, wonderful people, not what I had expected.


As viewed from the French side
By AlainD on 4/9/2014 9:18:53 PM , Rating: 4
Bonjour,

In light of the above commetns, a comment from a French is unavoidable so here we go:

- French working hours are indeed shorter than in the US or Japan but productivity is higher (source: OECD) though higher productivity does not entirely balance out shorter working hours. Personally, having worked more than a few years abroad I have found that in developing countries people tend to work harder and complain less (they are naturally less entitled)

- Sorry to hear that some of you have met lazy french people and are suffering from it, there are lazy people in all countries (less so in developing ones, above comment)

- French high unemployment root cause is indeed due to a quite rigid system, not shorter hours (if anything, shorter hours should contribute to lower unemployment, this was one of the goal of the 35h week but did not work out so well due to... a rigid system/job regulations)

Finally, please do not judge an entire nation based on a few people/limited sample (I certainly don't base my views on the US solely on the above comments - FWIW, I have a rather positive view of the US).

Back to topic: limiting emails on week-ends/holidays is a healthy practice, guess the "law" (not really enforcable) is a way to signal that




RE: As viewed from the French side
By lightfoot on 4/9/2014 9:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
guess the "law" (not really enforcable) is a way to signal that

I don't really take issue with anything else in your comment, but this mentality of laws being used as suggestions drives me crazy.

Laws are not supposed to be used as "signals" and "suggestions." Laws are government mandates that are enforced according to rule of law and through the use of force. If they are not enforceable, or they are enforced arbitrarily they are tools of oppression, not justice.

When you make a law knowing that everyone will break it, and choose to enforce it inconsistently, you have just given the government a tool (or excuse) to imprison, tax or fine anyone that they choose. They just use the law for cover to punish and penalize people they don't like.

Laws that are used as "signals" or "suggestions" only lead to oppression.
See: U.S. drug enforcement and its effect on minorities.

Either you have rule of law, or you have tyranny.


RE: As viewed from the French side
By AlainD on 4/10/2014 3:07:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you make a law knowing that everyone will break it, and choose to enforce it inconsistently, you have just given the government a tool (or excuse) to imprison, tax or fine anyone that they choose. They just use the law for cover to punish and penalize people they don't like.

Laws that are used as "signals" or "suggestions" only lead to oppression.
See: U.S. drug enforcement and its effect on minorities.


Very valid point.

In the 6pm "law" case, the context is such that it won't lead the French administration to behave in an erratic or discretionary manner regarding that low-profile topic (statement based on past French administration behavior).

For more grave matters (e.g. drug enforcement), I completely share your concern.


By safcman84 on 4/10/2014 8:57:26 AM , Rating: 2
I'm English but live in France.

This law would be enforced in France, not by the police but by employees themselves.

French employment law is very strict which means unjust dismissal is very easy to claim in France. Employers have to be very careful when firing someone.

If a company sent someone emails after 6pm and that employee refused to answer said emails then the company would have a very hard time pressuring the employee because they would just go to the one of many agencies that protect French workers and the employer would be in a very difficult situation.


RE: As viewed from the French side
By Keeir on 4/10/2014 1:02:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
... a rigid system/job regulations


I see this statement a few times in this comment board. Yet this "law" is just another addition to the rigid system/regulations on French employment.


RE: As viewed from the French side
By AlainD on 4/10/2014 3:08:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but it's really a mere drop in an ocean...


RE: As viewed from the French side
By Murloc on 4/10/2014 1:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
not really.

Creating strong work-life balance rules and a strong social net (joblessness insurance after you get fired and social assistance for poor people) is not making the system rigid, just regulated.

What makes the system rigid and causes problems in France and in other countries is that you can't fire people in a timely manner when you don't need them anymore.
Which is counter-intuitive given the strong protections there are which allow people to hop jobs with much less worry than in the third world or in the US.


By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/10/2014 9:20:18 AM , Rating: 3
In the US, we don't have lazy people, it's not politically correct. Perhaps motivationally challenged?


Don't Do It
By mgilbert on 4/10/2014 9:22:04 AM , Rating: 4
Never, ever work for an employer for free. They won't appreciate it, then they'll come to expect it. If an employer expects you to work at home, including the answering of emails and text messages, then insist they pay you for your time. Unless you own the company, when you go home, leave the problems with the owners - it's their company, and the problems are theirs. Do your best for your employer for the hours you are paid, then walk out the door - on time - and leave it all behind you. If you aren't paid to take it home with you, then DON'T EVER DO IT.

I work a 37.5 hour work week. From day one, I have refused to work on weekends, and I have refused to work overtime. I've never done it, and never will. There are a million things in life more important than work. Work should NEVER be your first priority.




RE: Don't Do It
By Dr of crap on 4/10/2014 9:55:56 AM , Rating: 2
WELL said,
Yet you will get those that disagree with you and state that their employer wants it.

AGAIN, find another place to work!


RE: Don't Do It
By mgilbert on 4/10/2014 10:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
If the employer wants it, then the employer should be willing to pay for it. I work for a paycheck, and practically everyone does when it comes right down to it. I expect to be compensated for what I do.


RE: Don't Do It
By MrBlastman on 4/10/2014 10:45:39 AM , Rating: 2
Most companies care little about your future. They are concerned about the bottom line. Do unto others...

;)

They deserve what you are dishing out to them.

Only your family cares about you in this world--and sometimes close friends. To believe otherwise is insanity.


This is why the Euro is a bad idea
By stm1185 on 4/9/2014 3:51:11 PM , Rating: 3
Tying your currency in with countries who pass these silly socialist laws. Now you can't work past 6pm.

Get ready Germany, you got another bailout to pay for coming.




RE: This is why the Euro is a bad idea
By ZoZo on 4/9/2014 6:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
You know what is actually silly? That we still have to work so much nowadays when, with the productivity that our society has, working just 20 hours per week would more than cover everybody's needs. And I'm being cautious.
I guess until the technological singularity happens, we're stuck with bullshit jobs (google it), competition at every level (global and in the company) making us work longer hours, and this stupid idea that working for money is the core value of life.


By chripuck on 4/11/2014 10:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
Then get a part time job only working 20 hours a week and stop complaining.


Hasn't Worked Out So Well?
By GTVic on 4/9/2014 5:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose, for comparison purposes, the author has access to a parallel dimension where France has a 40+ hour work week and lower unemployment?




RE: Hasn't Worked Out So Well?
By ZoZo on 4/9/2014 6:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, unemployment in France can have (and I suspect does have) more to do with the rigidity of the work market than with the number of hours worked per week.
http://www.businessinsider.com/are-the-french-the-...


Too little
By bug77 on 4/9/2014 5:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
Just ban work for all french citizens and buy them a couple of east-europeans instead.




Remember When ...
By Scientist87 on 4/10/2014 2:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
Remember when in 1990-1994 we worked our butts off to put that NASA spacecraft in orbit? Man, we missed a lot of family time but our wives and kids understood. Especially when they got to tour the control center and see what our spacecraft was doing. My son still talks about that today.

Remember when in 1998-2001 we built that mapping satellite for Asia? Sixty hours a week to pull it off but they were able to produce detailed gradient maps for their agriculture industry. I wonder how much more food they have been able to produce with that information? That was a great feeling.

Remember in 2002-2005 when we produced that spacecraft-that-shall-not-be-named for that organization-that-shall-not-be-named? Being older made working crazy hours a little harder. Still, the new technology we demonstrated will change society as we know it in about 20 years. It was cool to be part of that.

I have never heard of a great achievement being accomplished in 35 hours per week. Maybe I am wrong.

Now, it is your turn. Fill in the rest:
Remember that time we worked crazy hours to ...
or
Remember that time we worked 35 hours per week and ...




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