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Businesses Communications

Volkswagen Turns Off E-mail After Work-Hours 377

wired_parrot writes "Responding to complaints from employees that email outside of working hours was disrupting their lives, Volkswagen has taken the step of shutting their email servers outside work-hours. Other companies have taken similar steps, with at least one taking the extraordinary step of banning internal e-mail altogether. Is this new awareness of the disruption work email brings on employee's personal life a trend?"
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Volkswagen Turns Off E-mail After Work-Hours

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  • Turn off sync (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2011 @12:14PM (#38472082)

    or ignore it.

  • Wait A Minute! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2011 @12:34PM (#38472318)

    The article doesn't clearly state it, but VW does NOT shutdown its email system. They stop emails from being pushed to individual users' Blackberrys when the user's shift is over. The email continues to flow into their inbox, and the Blackberry still enjoys a flood of email 30 minutes before their shift starts the next day. It's actually a nice feature of Blackberry and Exchange software that they simply turned on.

    This does not reduce the number of emails that they get or the spam or anything else. It just stops delivery to the Blackberry after hours.

  • Re:It won't last (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samalie ( 1016193 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @01:23PM (#38472960)

    I have a wife and 3 kids. Self-respect doesn't feed, clothe, or shelter any of them.

  • Re:WHAT?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2011 @02:00PM (#38473402)

    Personally, I want to know if there's a problem in my datacenter at 3:30 a.m. so I'm not surprised with multiple alarms and users in panic when I come into the office at 8:00 to find a dozen or more helpdesk tickets in my queue and no one able to access their network drives. Similarly, I definitely want to know if the IDS has identified an intrusion at the firewall that requires my personal attention to address, or a DDoS attack on our website that may have taken us down and is costing us money due to lost revenue. I'm paid to handle these problems, whenever and wherever they occur and I am expected to respond, day or night to resolve them before the issue turns into a crisis. It's in my contract.

  • Re:WHAT?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sglewis100 ( 916818 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @02:08PM (#38473480)
    The article says it's for email only (the phone works, texts work, etc). If your alerting comes via email, you have bigger problems! Especially if it's your email server that's down.
  • Re:It won't last (Score:5, Informative)

    by oxdas ( 2447598 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @02:24PM (#38473712)

    The German system of both unions and corporate governance are very different than America. In Germany, workers must have just under half of all seats on the board of directors (although the president of the board comes from the shareholders). This makes workers and unions influential in setting the corporate direction of all German companies above 2,000 people. The idea of a union in many countries is also very different. In the United States, unions are adversarial organizations. In many countries, however, unions are cooperative groups that work for the best of the workers and company as a whole. It is important to also note that the idea of companies existing solely to benefit shareholders is not the dominant paradigm in most countries.

  • Re:It won't last (Score:4, Informative)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @02:41PM (#38473946)

    I think it is due to the way Unions work in the USofA. As far as I understand you have no choice in what Union you get. You get into the Union of that profession.

    e.g. if you are a screen writer, you go to the screenwriters union or you can't even get a job at certain companies.

    We communist Europeans believe a bit in choice. I can get to any of three Unions. OK, Three is not a big choice, but it is more then one.
    I also can decide NOT to go to a union. If a union gets a deal done, this will be done for ALL employees, not only union members.

    Oh and on Unions and media. Yesterday the strike in Belgium included part of the media.

  • Atlantic Dis-Union (Score:5, Informative)

    by andersh ( 229403 ) on Friday December 23, 2011 @03:14PM (#38474374)

    There's absolutely no way you can compare the various European countries with the US. There's just so much variety here in Europe, not a single country looks or acts like the US labor market. The UK, while English-speaking and Common Law, is still "socialist" by comparison.

    To say nothing of the much more "socialist" Scandinavian countries [where I live]. In my country the unions work in cooperation with the employers' union. If there's a dispute the government's negotiator will do his job and find a reasonable compromise. I believe this describes Germany as well. Unions are not like and do not behave like American "unions".

    My country has been ruled by a Labor government more or less since the early 1900s, and both employers and workers are firmly in agreement about what is acceptable practices. Everyone from government ministers to CEOs leave work at 16-17 to pick up their children in the kindergarten/after-school program or go home to eat dinner. While there are people that work later than that, here we emphasize a work/life balance, and the employers understand.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev