France already has a 35-hour work week, and a new rule is designed to make sure that it doesn't start shading toward 40 hours because of work-related email. The Guardian reports that the rule forbids workers from checking their phones or computers for work stuff after 6pm, and it forbids employers from pressuring them to do so. The move apparently doesn't affect all workers in France, but it does cover about 1 million workers in the tech industry—including French employees of Google and Facebook.
At Fox Business, a US labor expert finds it hard to believe the IT industry can manage such a draconian shut-off time. "There’s always something going wrong off the clock—when a computer goes down, it doesn’t go down between 8am and 5pm." A post at Fast Company agrees that it might be tough to enforce, but adds that "it's a nice perk to have in any case." Elsewhere, Germany already has a similar rule in place, while Sweden is experimenting with a 30-hour work week. (Read more France stories.)