Portugal is trying to entice teleworkers with a better work-life balance.
The COVID-19 pandemic made remote working a necessity for safety reasons, though even as workers around the world get vaccinated, many have found that they prefer working from home. Many workers who have switched to remote in the past year have reported better productivity and improved moods, especially in those who want to spend more time with their family. However, alongside remote work has come changes in work decorum, including the frequency of after-hours texts.
In an effort to appeal to teleworkers and convince them to move there, the parliament of Portugal has enacted a new work-life balance law. Specifically, the law stipulates that managers and bosses are not allowed to text workers with work-related inquiries after work has officially concluded for the day. Breaking this law can lead to financial penalties, as well as raised prices on office utilities like electricity and gas.
“The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated,” Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s minister of Labor and Social Security, said last week.
“Telework can be a ‘game changer’ if we profit from the advantages and reduce the disadvantages. We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal.”
Portugal’s parliament is workshopping some other laws to appeal to remote workers, such as mandatory face-to-face meetings every few months or permission to work from home to care for children without requiring notice.