The government of Portugal has introduced a so-called right to rest. This law bans employees from texting or emailing their workers after work. This has become a prevalent practice in the wake of the COVID pandemic where people are now working from home and the lines between rest hours/off and work have become blurred. Zimbabwe should consider doing the same too.

One side effect of the coronavirus pandemic is that a lot of employees especially white-collar workers are now working from home. This means that homes are now effectively turned into offices. That’s all good as it has been instrumental in making sure that the pandemic doesn’t spread too rapidly whilst at the same time making sure that businesses keep operating.

The problem though is that it sort of blurs the line between work and home lives. Some employers have been exploiting this arrangement by making their employees work overtime without actually paying them. They do this by texting or emailing their employees with work assignments even during the time when they are supposed to be off. This can be detrimental to the welfare of employees who are essentially being overworked.

Employees also playing on the clock

On the flip side, research has shown that employees are also “playing” during work hours with some taking naps, having sex or engaging in activities that do not constitute work while they are supposed to be working from home. Some have even gone to set up profitable side hustles which they are supposed to be working.