VW Will Block BlackBerry Email When People Are Off Work. Isn't That When It's Most Useful?

from the hmm dept

This is a bit odd. It appears that, as part of an agreement with its workers in Germany, Volkswagen has agreed to turn off BlackBerry messages to workers while they're away from work. Basically emails will stop going to BlackBerries a half hour after they leave work and won't come back until a half hour before they come back in.

Of course, it seems like if they don't want people to access emails while away from work there's a simpler solution: don't have workers use BlackBerries. Just saying.

The idea here is to keep employees from "feeling chained" and allowing them to enjoy the life part of the work/life balance. And, as we've discussed in the past, the blurring of the work/life balance is definitely an issue that some people need to deal with. But I have difficulty seeing how this helps in any way. In my experience, being able to access emails while not at my desk and in off-hours actually helps keep the work/life balance, since stuff doesn't pile up at work.

Years back, in college, I actually spent a lot of time studying how labor relations worked in Germany, and unions there tend to have a lot more say in how companies operate, to the point of being on councils with management making these kinds of decisions (it's a lot more partnership oriented than the US adversarial model). In many ways that's a good thing. Having management and employees working together to take on challenges, rather than just being at each other's throats, definitely has its advantages, but it can also create some wacky outcomes... like this.

Filed Under: blackberries, email, germany, work life balance
Companies: volkswagen


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  1. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), 27 Dec 2011 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: People don't get it

    And while I agree with you that when something in the scope of my craft goes wrong AND it's important, I want to get it fixed. And I take immense pride in my work. And the speed I can get it done in when I'm alert and awake.

    But I'm not going out because some poor manager of some small company's single phone isn't working in the middle of the night cause he knows someone who knows someone. There ARE priorities you know.

    Good lord, I'm glad I don't work for you. And no, I never did do my 40 and out. By the same token I was never expected to work myself to exhaustion to the point where my work was complete junk. I earned my pay and I made my employer a ton of money while I did it.

    You, on the other hand, seem to want your employees to work till they nearly drop so that your company has to go back again to fix it again..something that takes three times as long as it would done right the first time by someone alert and awake. So I'm also glad I'm not your customer.

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