VW: We'll Deactivate Email When Staff Not Working

Carmaker's new policy will affect German employees' BlackBerries
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2011 5:59 AM CST
FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2010 file photo, a Research In Motion Blackberry is displayed at Best Buy in Mountain View, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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(Newser) – Some workers in Germany will no longer have to worry about getting an email from the boss during dinner. Volkswagen has agreed to loosen the digital shackles by shutting down email service on their employees' BlackBerries during non-work hours, kissing the typical 24-hour accessibility goodbye. Europe's largest car manufacturer set the new—and very rare—policy as part of an agreement with labor reps, reports Reuters.

Emails will now hit workers' inboxes 30 minutes before their shift begins, and will be cut off 30 minutes after it ends. The new rules only benefit employees covered under collective bargaining—1,154 workers at Volkswagen's six German plants—so executives will likely have to remain connected to their CrackBerries 24/7. (Read more Volkswagen stories.)

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