Dear Humber employees,
Over the last few weeks, Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness has received questions about Ontario’s disconnecting from work legislation that came into effect for some organizations earlier this month.
We want to ensure that all employees are aware of our commitment to work-life balance, health and well-being and the ability to unplug from work. Therefore, although we are exempt from the provincial requirement to have a formal disconnecting from work policy, we are planning to embed the principles and concepts of the need to disconnect from work within our current remote work policy, applicable and relevant practices and the future of work framework currently being developed.
Humber supports a healthy and respectful work environment and the importance of disconnecting from work. We also recognize that individual roles require different working arrangements and hours than others. As we did at the onset of the pandemic through our Humber at Home pledge, we encourage you to be respectful and supportive of your colleagues, and they to you. One of the challenges related to separating work from home, is balancing the fact that there may be times outside of your regular working hours when we need to connect with one another, while respecting that everyone needs to disconnect from work to maintain a healthy workplace and home life. Keeping that in mind, if there is a time outside of your workday in which you want to send an email or complete a task, please know that you should not expect to receive a response or action from the other person until their regular working hours resume.
Thank you for your collective commitment to a healthy campus. We look forward to sharing more information about the future of work framework in the fall. We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable summer.
Vice-President, Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness
Q: Does/will Humber have a disconnecting from the workplace policy?
A: No. Humber does/will not have a disconnecting from work policy, as we are exempt from the provincial requirement. As we are committed to work-life balance, health and well-being and the ability to unplug from work, we are planning to embed the principles and concepts of the need to disconnect from work within our current remote work policy, applicable and relevant practices and the future of work framework currently being developed.
Q: Can I email/contact a colleague outside of their regular working hours?
A: If there is a time outside of your workday in which you want to send an email to a colleague or complete a task that impacts a colleague, you may do so, though know that you should not expect to receive a response or action from the other person until their regular working hours resume. You can also consider scheduling your message so that it is sent at a predetermined time when the recipient will be working.
Q: Am I expected to respond to emails or other work tasks outside of my regular work hours?
A: Individuals are not expected to respond to emails or other work tasks outside of regular work hours. If the matter is an emergency that needs to be addressed outside of your regular working hours, your manager will contact you accordingly. We encourage all employees be mindful of work-life balance and disconnecting from work to maintain that balance.
Another after-hours consideration for employees is that individuals may choose to turn off notifications from software such as Outlook or Teams so that work does not appear on their devices at any hour of the day.
Q: My role requires me to be on call. How am I affected by Humber’s approach to disconnecting from work?
A: Individuals whose roles require them to be on call as scheduled are expected to fulfill their regular on call shift, including responding to after-hours inquiries or tasks as per their regular work.
Q: Is there a message that I can add to my email signature?
A: If you wish to include a message in your email signature that supports a healthy workplace, please use the following to ensure consistent language across the college:
My working day may not be your working day. I respect your boundaries around personal time and well-being. If you receive correspondence from me outside your working hours, I do not expect a response or action until you are at work.