Vice President of BIA Maria Mincheva on "Business Start", Bloomberg TV
“Working from home does not increase working hours per se, but it does increase the risk of employees working more.”, Maria Mincheva, Vice President of BIA, explained on "Business Start" hosted by Jivka Popatanasova.
"We must create a culture in which we respect our personal time and use our official worktime effectively. Information technologies blur the distinction between work and personal free time," Mincheva underlined.
"The right to leave the workplace is a fundamental right of employees," she added.
"Employees have no obligation to check their work emails or answer phone calls when they are off-duty. No one can force you to work after your official working hours.”
"However, when we talk about working overtime and having extended working hours, it must be assigned by the employer," Mincheva added.
The guest cited a study which found that pre to the COVID pandemic, flexible work forms were only 5% and are now 30%.
"There is also a psychological element. People are social creatures and they are used to communicating with each other. Working from home has certain advantages, but it can also lead to social isolation. Choosing this form of work must be considered carefully. "
She added that work from home had been established in the Labor Code in 2011, but was mainly used by companies in the IT sector before the COVID crisis.
"Because of the pandemic, many companies had to use this form and they turned out to be unprepared for it. It is difficult for employers to track whether the work is efficiently done and how their employees report activities," Mincheva concluded.