Volkswagen turns off BlackBerry email after work so staff get peace away from office

Will you be checking your emails over Christmas? Volkswagen, the German car maker has come up with a novel idea to ensure some of its German employees get a much needed break, by not delivering their email to their BlackBerry smartphones when they aren't on duty.

Volkswagen has confirmed on Friday that some of its workers in German don't receive emails on their BlackBerry when they aren't working after complaints that life work lines became too blurred.

A spokesman for VW told the BBC: "We confirm that this agreement between VW and the company's work council exists", but would not comment further.

Under the arrangement the company has programmed its BlackBerry servers to stop routing emails 30 minutes after the end of employees' shifts, and then start again 30 minutes before they return to work.

The staff can still use their devices to make calls and the rule does not apply to senior management, but it means that those on the scheme get work free nights free from email intrusion. 

"The issue of employees using Blackberrys, computers and other devices out of working time is a growing one that needs to be addressed as it can be a source of stress," Trades Union Congress (TUC) secretary general Brendan Barber told the BBC.

Many BlackBerry users refer to the smartphone as crackberries as it sucks you into being able to get your emails all day every day even at the weekend.

That of course is the same with all smartphones now too, however individual to the RIM handset is the ability to stop and start the main mail server when required.

Nokia a couple of years ago introduced a system that allowed users to set up a work mode and weekend mode, however it failed to gain any traction, with many failing to switch between the two. 

BlackBerry users can of course have their phone automatically stop receiving emails at a set time, however many say that is a personal choice and one that their company many not agree to. 

Do you think it is a good idea, or would you prefer to get email when you are supposed to be off? Let us know in the comments below



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