Shut Down Your E-Mail For a While
Where is the limit between professional and private life of employees? What did Volkswagen in order to spare the employees from work after their regular work time?
Posted: Jan 2012
The limit between private and business time is getting thinner. More and more employees are getting available to their employers every day. Modern technologies such as mobile phone, e-mail and blackberry are making employees accessible 24/7. This is very suitable to the employers and managers to chase their employees all day long. This is making people to be under constant stress. Their free time is not respected. Even holidays can be ruined because a few business phone calls or e-mails on Blackberry.
The Blackberry syndrome should not be the case for the employees of Volkswagen any more. Their Union made a deal with the company that no e-mails will be sent during the free time. The reason for this initiative was increased number of complaints of employees that the limit between business and private time is virtually lost, due to mails through Blackberry.
Therefore, Volkswagen will set the Blackberry servers that no mails are sent half an hour after end of official working time. The mails will be sent again 30 minutes before beginning of the next day working time.
Therefore, employees will not be disturbed during their private time, which is the important support to employee rights.
This rule, of course exclude top management that will still continue exchanging mails after working time.
The example of change in VW is still rare, because employees are constantly bombarded by information during their work time and after it officially finished in many other companies.
Maybe it is the time for unions to fight for the same right of their own employees. After all, employee who is exhausted with work and is under the stress will be less productive, despite of working more hours.