Due to the pandemic, most of us are either still working from home or have had our fair share of experience doing so.
While at first glance the situation might seem favourable since we save money on transportation to the office and other work related expenses, working from home has some major cons as well.
The most annoying drawback is definitely when our bosses pester us even after working hours because, well – we’re at home anyway, we surely have time for a few amendments, right?
The line in the sand that separates work from personal life has been completely rubbed off since most of us have had difficulty compartmentalising our lives as we have been waking up and working in the same space.
And since some bosses have no regard for our personal lives anyway, they’re capitalising on this difficulty even more during the pandemic.
While that may be the case for Malaysia, Portugal is taking a hard stance on nipping this problem in the bud by making it illegal for bosses to contact employees after work hours.
In their move to attract more digital nomads to the country, Portugal allows fining employers for calling employees after work hours while also requiring companies to pay for work-from-home expenses such as internet and electricity.
However, despite how incredible this new law is, some lawmakers were not pleased by the decision.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs are flocking to the country due to their focus on internet connectivity. In February, the Portuguese islands of Madeira launched a “digital nomad village” with free WiFi and workstations.
Other hotspots for digital nomads include Bermuda, Antigua and Costa Rica which plans to offer visas for up to 2 years. Croatia, Greece and Spain also offer variations of virtual work visas.
Portugal isn’t the only country practicing this method of ensuring the general work-life balance of their employees since Germany has been doing this too.
As part of the German Working Hours Act, employees must only be available during the agreed working hours and they must rest for at least eleven hours a day. Any overtime agreements must be agreed upon within the legal framework as well.
With that said, it seems like Malaysia can take some pointers from these countries when it comes to ensuring a healthy work-life balance.
Who knows? Maybe one day we can turn off our cellphones after work and not wake up to 22 missed calls and 13 emails from our boss the next day.
Until then, those visas seem very tempting…