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Volkswagen turns off email for BlackBerry workers

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worklifemoraleVolkswagen has agreed to turn off emails to workers with BlackBerry devices to help their work-life balance.

If you feel like you are never disconnected from your work and you are sick of that flashing red light on your BlackBerry announcing yet another email, then help is at hand.

The car maker has agreed to stop pushing emails to German staff after working hours. Email will be pushed to workers BlackBerry devices 30 minutes before they are due to start work and stopped 30 minutes after they are due to finish work.

The move, reached after agreement with labour representatives will affect 1,154 unionised, non-managerial workers at the company’s six plants in Germany. Managers will keep receiving emails, the ruling does not apply to them.

This initiative was introduced after an agreement with union representatives in Germany. Unionised workers responded positively to the news. It follows similar moves implemented by other companies.

Deutsche Telecom has implemented a “Smart-Device-Policy” for its workers. This policy lets workers claim communication free time when they are off work, in exchange for a promise that managers will not expect them to read emails during their leisure time.

Out of hours challenges

Work-life balance, or rather lack of it, has long been an issue for workers with company issued mobile devices.



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Growth in women's share of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) occupations declined to 27% in 2011from a high of 34% in 1990. While women make up nearly half of the workforce, they were 26% of the STEM workforce in 2011.

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