Many employees of Volkswagen in Germany will now be able to relax a little more in their off-hours. The company has made an agreement with its trade union to stop routing emails to company BlackBerrys half an hour after a worker's shift ends, and to start again half an hour before the next workday begins. All other features of the phone will still work, and senior management will keep receiving email round the clock. The head of the VW workers' council has said that the change was received "very positively."
Volkswagen's decision echoes Atos CEO Thierry Breton's move to ban internal email at his company, but is aimed more at reducing burnout than increasing efficiency. Around 1,150 VW employees have the company-provided smartphones, and a spokesperson has said that VW understands the need to balance professional availability with protection of workers' private lives.