Rostrum’s Law Review | ISSN: 2321-3787



The concept of work-life balance has become increasingly relevant in the contemporary workforce, as the creation of technology blurs the boundaries between professional and personal life. As employees remain constantly connected to work through digital devices, concerns arise regarding the adverse effects on their well-being and personal relationships. This research paper aims to analyze the protection of work-life balance by examining the potential benefits and implications of providing employees with the right to disconnect from work-related communications outside of designated working hours. The paper delves into the evolving landscape of modern work practices, the challenges faced by employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and the legislative efforts aimed at safeguarding this crucial aspect of employee welfare. By evaluating existing case studies and relevant legal frameworks, the study seeks to shed light on the effectiveness and possibility of implementing such policies. Ultimately, this research paper aims to contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding work-life balance and supporter for policies that promote the well-being of employees in the digital age.

Key Words: Employees, Technology, Work-Life Balance, Working Hours, Well Being


All employees have heard this word and some of the employees also complain that there is no work-life balance in their lives, whether male employees or female employees they have to struggle with their demands, they have to look at their family, illness and personal life, which is the concern of all employees. It is nothing less than a challenge (Lockwood, N. R. 2003). Balancing Home and work is more challenging for women than Men (Jansatta, 2019) . As people continue to pursue the quality of life they require, there is an increase in the amount of tension between job and personal life (Kim, 2014). Human beings need basic necessities like food, clothing, house, education, medicine etc. to live their lives. The person (man) works in other fields and earns his living. The right to disconnect is a crucial tool for establishing a line between work and non-work hours, preventing anxiety and burnout, enabling work-life balance, and encouraging family co-responsibility (Tomei, 2021). In today’s interconnected world, employees find themselves tethered to their jobs through the constant stream of work-related emails, messages, and notifications, even beyond traditional working hours. Consequently, this growing permeation of work into personal life has raised significant concerns about the impact on individuals’ well-being and the overall work-life balance. Technology has fundamentally changed how businesses operate and behave. Technology use has established itself as the new norm, drastically altering how employees currently go about their jobs. Although many employees have started working from home as a result of Covid-19, the lines between their working and non-working hours have mostly blurred. We all need to take a brief vacation from our work every so then. You must take time away from your business in order to recharge so that you may attend to other personal commitments. However, you won’t be able to unwind if your boss continually reminds you of the schedule for the day. One needs a clear mind to relax, which is sometimes difficult to achieve due to employment pressure in exciting sectors (Kalwade, 2022). Currently digital devices play a major role in daily life. Especially the way work has entered the home due to the current Covid-19. The development of new ways of working in the pandemic crisis has given rise to various new controversies in the field of labor relations and legislation on safety and health at workplace. For all these reasons and to respond to all these issues, there seems to be an urgent need to highlight the need to define the minimum content of the right to disconnect. Its purpose is to promote life balance more by ensuring the right of employees and workers to rest and preventing them from taking more work and ensuring the right to personal life. The purpose of the right to disconnect is to ensure that the right comes to the fore as an important measure of security. Employees cannot be penalized or subjected to pressure from their employer if they do not respond to email telephone calls after being relieved of work (Lerouge & Trujillo Pons, 2022). The researcher define the work-life balance as the stability between personal life and professional responsibilities, is vital for the mental health, emotional, and physical of employees. A lack of balance can lead to burnout, decreased job satisfaction, strained relationships, and a decline in overall productivity. As organizations become more aware of the importance of employee welfare, the concept of the “right to disconnect” has emerged as a potential solution to address the challenges posed by constant digital connectivity.

A strain is placed on individuals, families, and the communities in which they reside by the numerous competing responsibilities that today’s employees confront, including employment, kids, housekeeping, volunteering, caring for a spouse and elderly parents. Work-life balance is a crucial issue that affects people, their businesses, and communities ( Dhas, B. 2015).

Through this analysis, the research paper aims to contribute to the ongoing discourse on work-life balance, shed light on the importance of the right to disconnect, and offer recommendations for creating a conducive work environment that values employee well-being in the digital age. As work-life balance continues to be a critical aspect of the modern workforce, it is essential to understand and address the challenges posed by constant connectivity to ensure a healthier and more sustainable work culture.

Understanding Work Life Balance

Work-life balance connects to the stability between an individual personal life (non-work responsibilities, hobbies, family, and social activities) and their professional life (work).

Work-life balance, put simply, is the equilibrium reached when a person prioritises their personal and professional obligations equally. Common causes of a bad work-life balance include the following:

  1. More obligations at work
  2. More hours worked
  3. 3.Aggravating domestic duties
  4. Having kids (Sanfilippo, 2023).

The management of one’s professional and personal responsibilities in order to perform successfully at work and have enough downtime to relax and recharge is known as work-life balance. Work-life balance is also a key factor in employee retention, productivity, and engagement (Tsongas, P.2023).[i]  A friendly and healthy work environment must be created and preserved in order for employees to strike a balance between their job and personal commitments, strengthening employee loyalty and productivity.  A person is in an equilibrium when the demands of their professional and personal lives are equal. Words and phrases serve as cultural landmarks that indicate where we are and how to get there. Although the concept of “work/life balance” was originally introduced in 1986, it took some time for it to catch on in everyday conversation. It’s noteworthy that work/life programmes have been around since the 1930s (Tsongas, P.2023).

For general well-being and quality of life, retains a healthy work-life balance is necessary. It lessens stress, promotes improved physical and mental health, and helps prevent burnout. Achieving a healthy work-life balance allows an individual to devote enough time and effort to both their professional responsibilities and personal interests, which increases both job satisfaction and personal fulfilment.

Work-life balance is a concern for those who are interested in the quality of working life and how it connects to the overall quality of life. (Guest, 2002).

Overall, work-life balance is about finding harmony and managing one’s time and energy effectively to lead a fulfilling and balanced life, encompassing both professional and personal aspects.

Definition of Work life Balance

Due to its importance, which has been extensively discussed, the concept of work-life balance is no longer original. According to certain definitions, it refers to a person’s orientation towards several life roles and the phenomenon of inter-roles. Diverse viewpoints on the concept of work-life balance have been articulated by academics. A few of the key definitions include:

  • Kofodimos asserts that “a satisfying, healthy, and productive life” is one that “incorporates a range of life activities with attention to self and to personal and spiritual development, and that expresses a person’s particular wishes, interests, and values. “
  • According to Kirchmeyer, “personal resources such as energy, time, and commitment to be well distributed across domains” are necessary for “achieving satisfying experiences in all life domains.”
  • Work-life balance, according to Clark, is “satisfaction and good functioning at work and at home with a minimum of role conflict.”

These conceptions of work-life harmony have a number of characteristics, such as their emphasis on the parity of inputs and outputs and the harmony between work and non-work domains. (Knowledge, 2021).

Origin of Work life balance

Work-life balance has a long history, dating back to the 1930s when the W.K. Kellog company introduced four to six hours in all weeks to enhance employee morale and productivity (Naithani, 2010). The actual term “work-life balance” first appeared in Britain in the 80s as a placard in the women’s liberation movement. Andolan offers flexible schedules for women (Kumanu, 2023).

The history of work-life balance dates back to the second half of the 19th century, when reformers successfully fought against lengthy manufacturing hours and were able to show that output levels were unaffected by working fewer hours. In the early 20th century, a series of groundbreaking studies that revealed a nuanced connection between the amount of time spent at work and production aided in the movement to reduce working hours. Although the phrase “work-life balance” hadn’t yet been invented, a number of reasons that finally led to the current policy mix may be traced back to the 1960s and 1970s. These comprised:

  1. Workplace health and safety;
  2. Global competitiveness;
  3. Equity; also
  4. The accommodating labour market (Yadav & Mishra, n.d.).

Historical overview of Work life balance

As the Industrial Revolution came to an end, people were overworked. The typical employee in the UK (United Kingdom) worked between 14 and 16 hours per day, six days a week. These long hours had a detrimental social and health effect, especially for young children who were also working. Labour reformers drew attention to this in order to persuade the UK (United Kingdom) to accept less hours for children and women.

During the same duration, the work of employees was tracked by the employer in the job sectors of the United Kingdom, 100 hours a week, which causes distinct healthy and safety risks to the workers of the whole country. Following decades of worker agitation, the Fair Labour Standards Act was officially changed in the United States on 24 October 1940, and the 40-hour work week was adopted.

Women’s maternity leave was adopted and promoted during the 1980s in the UK because of the women’s liberation movement as the phrase “Work life balance” accepted as a strong belief.  However, working women rigidly look forward to carrying on the responsibility, domestic work maintenance, and personal care of the children, males were socially free to pursue their career-oriented goals without worrying about the housekeeping of raised children. During the period of 1980s, the actual concept of working women “have it all” and highlighted the variance between work and personal life. However, women expressed all the basic needs required for their personal development and excelling in the sector of work-life balance (Kumanu, 2023).

The Phenomena of ‘Right to Disconnect’

Globally, nations have begun to acknowledge this as a social issue and have enacted legislation to safeguard their citizens’ mental health and wellbeing. This legal safeguard is known as the “right to disconnect.” This privilege guarantees that all workers are free to stop receiving any work-related emails or text messages outside of regular business hours.

  • In order to respect rest and leave times as well as the employee’s personal and family life, it is intended to use less digital tools. Additionally, there should be awareness-raising activities focused on the option to disconnect (Mitrus, 2019).
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has altered society and altered how people work all across the world. Work-from-home strategies are growing in popularity. Numerous people are delaying their return to full-time employment because businesses are also favouring it. According to an American study, 65% of persons who started working from home intend to do so in the future (NEWS18HINDI, 2022).

Definition of right to disconnect

A proposed human right called “The Right to Disconnect” would give people the freedom to stop working or to refuse to participate in work-related communications like emails, calls, and messages outside of working hours. The right to disconnect is included in the laws of several nations, and in still more, it is a part of many multinational corporations’ policies (Rane, 2019).

The European Union has explained the right to disconnection or the right to remain disconnected. According to him, the right of an employee, which separates him from work and keeps him separate and away from work-related electronic communication, comes under the category of Right to Disconnect. In this, apart from the office hours, one gets freedom from the necessity of keeping connected with emails and other messages (NEWS18HINDI, 2022).

Origin of Right to Disconnect in France

France has taken the lead in creating the legal frameworks necessary to defend employees’ right to disconnect. The idea was considered in 2001 when the Supreme Court of France ruled that employees cannot be forced to bring work home. Since that time, the Court has modified its decision as technology advanced (Bergen et al., 2019). The Supreme Court upheld this choice in 2004 and stated that “[the employee’s] inability to be reached on his cell phone after hours cannot be seen as wrongdoing (française, 2004). The El Khomri Law, named after Myriam El Khomri, the French Labour Secretary, went into effect in France on January 1, 2017, establishing the right to disconnect. Only businesses with more than fifty employees are subject to the regulation, which mandates yearly meetings between the employer and the union leader to discuss issues relating to employees’ freedom to disconnect. These discussions also take into account the creation of corporate policies for digital tools and devices that ensure respect for personal time, family leave, and rest intervals. Upon advise from the enterprise committee or alternatively, the staff delegates, the employer shall draught a charter in the lack of consensus.

Origin of Right to Disconnect in India

India’s labour market is governed by more than fifty federal legislation and numerous state regulations. Therefore, a permanent employee can only be fired for misconduct or repeated absences that has been substantiated. The 1950 Indian Constitution’s articles 14–16, 19(1)(c), 23–24, 38, and 41–43A expressly cover labour rights. Article 14 states that everyone must be treated equally under the law, while Article 15 forbids discrimination against citizens. The right to “equality of opportunity” for employment or other state-related appointments is likewise guaranteed under Article 16. Article 19(1)(c) states that everyone has the specific right “to form associations or unions”. Contrarily, Article 24 prohibits anyone under the age of 14 from working in mines, factories, or “any other hazardous employment” All types of forced labour and trafficking are prohibited by Article 23. The lower chamber of the Indian Parliament also heard a bill that would restrict the right to disconnect in December 2018. It is known as “The Right to Disconnect Bill” and attempts to recognise the right to disconnect as a means of lowering stress levels and easing conflicts between employees’ personal and professional lives.

Parliamentarian Sule stated that the Right to Disconnect Bill aims to “confer the right on every employee to disconnect from work-related telephone calls and emails beyond work hours and on holidays and right to refuse to answer calls and emails outside of work hours (Staff, 2019).”

The Right to Disconnect Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by NCP MP Supriya Sule in 2018. The proposed law stated that failure to return calls from coworkers after hours would not result in disciplinary action. Since no private member’s bill has become an Act in India since 1970, the Bill was unable to be passed (Azmi, 2021). The most practical solution, however, might not be to adopt a rule in India, especially in the digital era where some businesses have made the switch permanently to a work-from-home structure. At least in the Indian workplace, a Bill that had never been seen before was introduced during the winter session of the Indian Parliament in 2018. A Private Member’s Bill was introduced by Ms. Supriya Sule, a representative for the Nationalist Congress Party in the House of Representatives, allowing employees to choose to accept calls or emails received after office hours without facing repercussions.

Need and Necessity of Right to Disconnect

The Right to Disconnect represents a compelling response to the challenges posed by the relentless connectivity that characterizes contemporary workplaces. In the pursuit of productivity and efficiency, organizations have embraced digital communication platforms that allow constant interaction with employees, fostering an “always-on” work culture. As a result, employees find themselves trapped in a state of continuous work, facing mounting pressure to be available around the clock, disrupting their work-life balance and taking a toll on their physical and mental well-being.

Answering job-related calls after work after spending eight or more hours at the office can be quite stressful. Experts claim that stress at work frequently contributes to a variety of medical and mental conditions, including depression, that go misdiagnosed. As a result, one may encounter numerous difficulties in both their personal and professional lives (InsightsIAS, 2019).

Numerous studies demonstrate that being constantly connected has had an adverse effect on workers everywhere. William Becker from Virginia Tech has been researching how technology affects employee wellbeing. He discovered that even if employees aren’t actively reading their emails after business hours, the assumption that they should be available might still cause problems. According to William Becker, this type of “always on” work atmosphere makes employees anxious. According to a 2016 study, being constantly on call is associated with lower levels of energy, tranquilly, and mood. Employee behaviour is constrained during non-working hours, which is why they cannot be categorised as leisure time. According to researchers at Northern Illinois University, employees who responded to work-related emails after 9 p.m. sleep quality deteriorates. (Team, 2021).

In every type of job in the world, the pressure of taking phone calls from higher officials remains 24 hours. In such a situation, there is a danger of losing the job of the employee if he does not answer for any reason. This happens more in the private sector. Due to the epidemic, the advent of work from home culture has increased such pressure. In such a situation, the lines between home and office life have become blurred. Because of this, the employees always have to be ready to answer the calls of the officers (NEWS18HINDI, 2022).

This research paper delves into the multifaceted dimensions of the Right to Disconnect, exploring its necessity and relevance in a world where technology permeates every aspect of our existence. By analyzing its impact on employee productivity, mental health, and overall job satisfaction, we aim to shed light on the significance of this right as a potential solution to the growing issues of burnout, stress, and declining work-life balance. Furthermore, we will explore the perspectives of various stakeholders, including employees, employers, policymakers, and labor rights advocates. Understanding their viewpoints is crucial to developing a comprehensive understanding of the potential benefits and limitations of the Right to Disconnect.

In conclusion, this research endeavors to advocate for the recognition of the Right to Disconnect as a pivotal step towards striking a healthier balance between work and personal life in the digital age. By illuminating the need and necessity of this right, we hope to foster a meaningful discussion that promotes employee well-being, organizational productivity, and a sustainable future for the workforce. As we navigate the ever-advancing realm of technology, acknowledging the importance of disconnecting from work when the workday is done becomes an imperative aspect of safeguarding our physical and mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life.

Relation between Right to Disconnect and Work life balance:

Right to disconnect and work life balance are two sides of the same coin, where the right to disconnect is achieved.  There the Work life balance is achieved automatically. Employees can profit from having the “right to disconnect” as well as businesses overall. A more productive workforce during working hours is expected to result from establishing an appropriate work-life balance for employees, which will likely prevent staff burnout and overload. Additional advantages of less stress may include higher staff retention rates, improved employee morale, and a perception among workers that their employers value and support their mental health (Dean, 2021).

In today’s hyper-connected world, the lines between work and personal life have become increasingly blurred, leading to a significant impact on individuals’ well-being and work-life balance. The rapid proliferation of technology and the advent of the digital age have revolutionized the way we work, enabling constant communication and accessibility to work-related tasks beyond traditional working hours. While this connectivity has undoubtedly improved productivity and efficiency, it has also given rise to new challenges and concerns, foremost among them being the erosion of work-life boundaries.

The “Right to Disconnect” emerges as a pivotal concept in the context of contemporary work dynamics. It advocates for the establishment of clear boundaries between work and personal life, empowering employees with the freedom to disengage from work-related communications and obligations outside of their designated working hours. Recognizing that incessant digital connectivity can lead to burnout, stress, and a compromised work-life balance, various jurisdictions and organizations worldwide have begun to address the importance of safeguarding employees’ well-being by implementing or considering legislation and policies surrounding the Right to Disconnect.

Concluding Observations

Based on the research conducted, the following suggestions are put forth to foster a healthier work-life balance and ensure the well-being of employees:

  • Legislation and Policy Implementation: Governments and labor regulatory bodies should consider formulating and implementing specific legislation that enshrines the right to disconnect. Such legislation should define the limitations on after-work hours communication and establish penalties for non-compliance by employers.
  • Company Policies: Organizations should develop comprehensive policies that promote a healthy work-life balance and respect employees’ right to disconnect. These policies should outline guidelines for appropriate communication outside of regular working hours and encourage managers to lead by example in adhering to these practices.
  • Employee Education and Awareness: Raising awareness about the importance of work-life balance and the adverse effects of constant connectivity is crucial. Companies should conduct training sessions and workshops to educate employees about the benefits of disconnecting and the strategies to achieve a healthier balance.
  • Technology Integration: Organizations should invest in technological solutions that help employees manage their work-life boundaries effectively. This could include features like scheduling email delivery, setting specific working hours for communication platforms, and providing tools for time management and productivity tracking.
  • Promotion of Flexible Working Arrangements: Employers should encourage and facilitate flexible working arrangements, such as remote work, compressed workweeks, or job sharing. By providing employees with more control over their schedules, it becomes easier for them to manage their personal and professional commitments.
  • Regular Assessment and Feedback: Companies should regularly assess the impact of their work-life balance policies and initiatives through employee surveys and feedback mechanisms. This data can help identify areas for improvement and guide future strategies.
  • Cultural Shift: Lastly, a cultural shift is needed, both within organizations and society at large, to recognize the value of work-life balance and respect individuals’ right to disconnect. This shift requires support from leadership, employees, unions, and all stakeholders involved.


The right to disconnect is essential for maintaining a healthy and sustainable workforce as well as for individual well-being. Society may achieve a better balance between work and personal life, which will result in happier, healthier, and more motivated people, by enacting suitable legislative frameworks and organizational rules, increasing awareness, and responsibly embracing technology.


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