Weekdays 'Til 6
Staff wellness is a priority at Livingstone Range School Division. We are taking a bold, new approach to the challenges associated with the increasing number of emails and texts we all face in the evenings and on weekends, and expectations for staff to respond immediately.
Beginning November 1, 2019 our staff are encouraged to send work-related emails and texts prior to 6pm on weekdays. And not at all in the evenings and on weekends. We believe after-hours activities should include rest, exercise, time with family and friends, hobbies, volunteering, and other responsibilities, but NOT work emails and texts.
The shift is called "Weekdays 'Til 6" and is focused on respecting our staff's after-work hours.
"We believe the Weekdays 'Til 6 initiative will help improve the work/life balance, health, and wellbeing for all Livingstone Range staff," says Superintendent Darryl Seguin. "We also believe it will help our staff be more productive during the workday hours."
In fact, experts agree that taking time to unplug from devices, social media, and work-related emails and texts does improve productivity by lowering stress and allowing our minds and bodies to get the rest we need.
Other organizations - such as Volkswagen, health-care consulting company Vynamic, and Chinook's Edge School Division in Innisfail - have already implemented no-evening-or-weekend-email policies with great success. Now LRSD is taking a step in prioritizing our staff's wellbeing with the Weekdays 'Til 6 initiative.
We ask all staff to limit emailing or texting one another and parents to weekdays before 6pm. Parents can help us out by not expecting a reply from a teacher until the following school day. A Friday evening message will not be responded to until after the weekend. Some urgent or crisis situations may require discretionary exceptions, and our facilities staff will continue to be available for after-hours emergencies.
"Weekdays 'Til 6 can benefit parents and families as well," says Seguin. "We would love to see everyone get onboard and unplug in the evenings and weekends to improve balance in their lives."
Talk to your school's principal for more information on the Weekdays 'Til 6 initiative or visit http://www.lrsd.ca/Weekdays%20Til%206.php.