Smartphones are a work trap

Trade unions are warning of the blurred line between work and leisure time as an increasing number of workers read and answer official emails in their free time using their smartphone or PC-tablet.

And say trade union bosses, not only is the out of work hours spent on work-related activity unpaid, it’s also unhealthy leading to stress.

Norbert Schunko of the trade union for private employees said: “It is clear from the study that three quarters of those workers, whose employers expect them to be permanently reachable, are not remunerated.

“If you look at legal cases at the trade union today, you will find that many people are risking a burn-out – not only because of their work inside the office, but because of their work outside of contractual working hours.”

The union has called for workers’ representatives to negotiate with companies the right to switch off mobile devices after working hours.

In example they have given Volkswagen in Germany, where the e-mail traffic is deliberately stopped on Friday to allow employees to recover at the weekend.

The trade union also wants to raise awareness on the matter during a week of campaigning under the motto: “just switch off”.