Around four in every ten workers in the EU say they have received work-related calls or messages in their leisure time. Eurostat findings from a 2019 survey show that 10 percent of employees reported being contacted several times in their after-work hours with requests demanding immediate action. Around a fourth say they are occasionally contacted, and seven percent say they are contacted frequently but are not expected to carry out any direct actions.
A fifth of respondents from Malta said that they are contacted frequently in their leisure time while 58 percent never receive calls or messages. Workers in Finland reported the highest rate of requests for immediate action in after-work hours, at just under 23 percent of the working population. Less than a third of employees in Finland said they are never contacted outside work hours.
On the other hand, employees in Finland have the greatest influence over their own working hours, with only 30 percent having their times decided by their employers. That share climbs to just over 60 percent on an EU average and to 65 percent in Malta. A quarter of Maltese employees said they can decide on their own working hours but with certain restrictions while the remaining 15 percent are free to choose for themselves.
Two-thirds of all respondents said that it is easy enough to take a few hours’ off work at short notice. A fifth find it fairly difficult while 13 percent said it is very difficult for them to do so. In Malta, almost eight in ten workers find it very easy or fairly easy to obtain off hours at short notice, the rest saying it is either fairly difficult (12%) or very difficult (10%).