“Eight to Five: The Right to a Private Life.”

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The definition of working hours between the hours of 8am and 5pm is for the protection of the private life of employees in formal organizations. Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life. The concept of this right emphasizes the significance of personal dignity.

Privacy, though difficult to define, comprises a wide range of activities that do not interfere with the rights and freedoms of others. Although it may be lawfully limited under certain conditions, it advocates for individual independence in society. It is therefore expected that business owners would respect and protect the private life of their workers. Unbelievable as it may seem, the private life of each individual affects his/her work- positively or negatively.

It is no wonder that successful businesses understand the importance of productivity and most prosperous firms are home to happy and healthy employees. Employees can and should be classified as investments, and like any investment, they should yield a healthy income. In order to achieve that, they should be encouraged and motivated to give the job their best.

Interestingly, increasing productivity in the workplace does not only revolve around training sessions and other hygiene factors. Sometimes, and often most importantly, maximum productivity is achieved when employees are encouraged to complete all tasks within the specified working period. Unfortunately, most employers tend to applaud personnel who stay late in the office. In the views of these employers, such workers deserve the title ‘Best Employee of the year’, simply because they complete their tasks long after everyone has signed out of the office.

Well… sorry to burst your bubble, but that only confirms the unproductive nature of employees and the business at large. Why? Because they are unable to complete their daily tasks within the defined 9 hours a day. The general misconception associated with signing out of the office late does not challenge employees to work effectively and has made them comfortable with delaying tasks that they could finish in less time.

Working within the defined working hours of an organization gives employees the opportunity to develop themselves. Wondering how? They get to read other materials and even enrol in courses that may boost their career in the long term after 5pm.

In another instance, people who gain joy just by spending time with their friends and family, while strengthening bonds, get the opportunity to do so without compromising their work. This simple act, I believe, ends with the employee always reporting to work rejuvenated and happy. You may agree with me that, a happy individual works more passionately and delivers a more fulfilling work.

Another way to promote productivity and keep staff healthy is by ensuring that no employee carries work home for completion. This does not only protect the life of the employee but also safeguards confidential information of the business.

I strongly believe that the hours after 5pm are and should solely be for the private life of the individual and he/she should be the one to decide how to live it. Surely, protection of the private life of an employee also considers the establishment and development of healthy homes and relationships and consequently, the success of a business.

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