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Parmy Olson

Tech Giants Chained Us to Work. Now They Promise to Help

Microsoft and Apple are expanding tools to help employees disconnect from work, and more people are taking advantage of them.

Time to disconnect.

Time to disconnect.

Source: Bloomberg

A new law in Portugal has banned bosses from emailing their staff out of hours, but for some advocates there was a gap: Staff don’t have a legal right to disconnect and turn off their work devices after hours. It was a detail that Portuguese lawmakers chose not to approve.

No matter. Big Tech is here with a solution that should (mostly) cause optimism. Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. have recently launched new software that makes it easier to disconnect from work. These tools and others like them could set a bigger cultural precedent than any single law.