The backlash against twenty-four-hour connectivity has started.
Carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) has agreed to deactivate e-mails on German staff Blackberry devices out of office hours to give them a break.
Under an agreement with labour representatives, staff at Europe's biggest automaker will receive e-mails via Blackberry from half an hour before they start work until half an hour after they finish, and will be in blackout-mode the rest of the time, a spokesman for VW said.
The new email regime applies to staff covered by collective bargaining so it would seem board level executives will still be slaves to their Blackberries.
Very few companies have taken such drastic measures to force workers towards a better work-life balance.
Telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) introduced a "Smart-Device-Policy" last year that calls on workers to claim communication-free time when they are off work, in exchange for a promise that management will not expect them to read e-mails or pick up the phone all the time.
"Mobile communication devices offer a great amount of freedom, but also embody the risk of no longer being able to switch off," the company said.