Volkswagen Instituting Mandatory Blackouts of Company Blackberry Use

By Oliver VanDervoort December 28, 2011

While RIM and all things Blackberry have been struggling in the United States, the smartphones dubbed “crackberries” are doing quite well across the pond. That is both good and bad news for dedicated employees who are given corporate Blackberries. 

While these little devices are well-liked thanks to the ability to access emails and the Web away from the desktop, several companies have taken advantage of the devices. Employees have been complaining for quite some time that they can never really get away from work and just relax. For its part, Volkswagen appears to be relenting to its employee's demands, at least a little bit.

The popular car maker has issued a directive that says that it will deactivate its company email for its German workers, once office hours for the day are over. This was actually a pretty serious concern for labor representatives and the actual agreement was hammered over some pretty heated discussions. Eventually the two sides agreed that employees who have company Blackberries will receive emails from a half hour before their shift starts, until a half hour after their shift ends. After that, company emails will enter a blackout period.

While some of the German company's employees will certainly consider this a reason to celebrate, the agreement only covers those that under the protection of collective bargaining. This seems to mean that board level employees will still expect to be receiving emails at all hours of the day and night. While few companies are taking such forceful steps to make sure their employees are better balancing their work and private lives, the trend seems to be spreading across Europe.

Last year, the telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom instituted a policy where employees had to inform the company of blocks of time each day where they would not be reachable on their mobile devices. Volkswagen's policy is set to affect more than 1,100 employees across the six different plants that are located across Germany. 

The IT firm, Bitkom published a study earlier this year that shows that 88 percent of German employees are regularly contacted by clients, colleagues and bosses via cell phone and email. That number is up from 73 percent just two years ago.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

Contributing Writer

Related Articles

The World is His Oyster: Connected Solutions Enable Daniel Ward to See Food

By: Paula Bernier    3/16/2018

Fresh seafood can taste great, but if it is not handled properly, people can get sick, and that can lead to business closures and lost revenues. That'…

Read More

How to Get Ready for GDPR if You've Waited Until the Last Minute

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

With less than two months until the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) deadline, many companies have already started making sure that their bu…

Read More

How Fintech is Helping Create Global Businesses

By: Special Guest    3/14/2018

The growth of Fintech probably has not escaped your attention. Whether you're a customer making contactless payments or an investor weighing up CFD tr…

Read More

Are We Prepared for Automation?

By: Special Guest    3/13/2018

We are barreling toward a future of automation. A great proportion of the six million US manufacturing jobs that have disappeared over the last few de…

Read More

The Dark Web - A Hot Bed for Cybercrime

By: Special Guest    3/12/2018

There is a corner of the internet that is cloaked from every day users. Beneath the typical search engines and web browsers, an illegal marketplace is…

Read More