Business, Finance & Economics

Volkswagen gives staff evenings off their Blackberrys


A woman works on her Blackberry phone.


Alex Wong

If you can identify the "tock" of a Blackberry alert from 100 yards, wonder constantly whether you're vibrating, or have ever caught yourself hitting "Reply all" at 1 AM, you might want to consider working for Volkswagen.

The German car maker has revealed details of an agreement it made with a labor union limiting the hours that the company can send emails to its employees' Blackberrys.

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VW staff in Germany will now only receive company mail between the hours of 7:00 AM and 6:15 PM—half an hour before they start work, and half an hour after they finish it, according to the BBC.

The black-out applies only to staff represented by the union, however, Reuters reported—meaning that executives' Blackberrys will presumably continue to buzz round the clock.

Pity them, for it seems senior execs are as fed up as everyone else with hearing Jeff from accounts' latest thoughts about expenses claims.

Cleaning product manufacturer Henkel recently declared a Blackberry-free week between Christmas and New Year, reported The Local, advising staff to email only in case of emergency. Chief executive Kaspar Rorsted told a German newspaper:

"I take a last look at my Blackberry on Saturday morning. And then I put it aside for the rest of the weekend. I spend time with my children.

"I don't have to read my emails simply because someone somewhere is bored and sending me them. It shows a lack of respect to pester people like that."

You heard the man: turn it off.

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