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11 January 2012

Volkswagen gives its employees a break from emails out of hours

Volkswagen has agreed to give workers in Germany a rest from emails relentlessly filling the inboxes of their Blackberry devices out of hours.

Europe’s biggest car-maker and the body that represents its workers have agreed to have the email function deactivated at night, a spokesman for the company said.

Workers will only receive emails from half an hour before the start of flex-time working hours until half an hour after they end, but will still be able to receive and make phone calls.

Daily Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung this week cited works council member Heinz-Joachim Thust as saying that 1,154 pay-scale employees at Volkswagen’s six plants in Germany have a smartphone device furnished by the company.

The works council sought to counter any expectation that employees should be reachable at all the times, thanks to their indispensable “CrackBerry” gadgets, which could heighten the risk of burnout, a psychological syndrome that some studies have said causes almost 10 million sick days a year in Germany.

Source: Reuters
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