A new policy implemented by the car manufacturing brand Volkswagen seeks to improve employees work-life balance, reports Reuters.
The agreement, which applies to workers in Germany under certain union-negotiated contracts, sees staff only receive messages on their BlackBerry mobiles 30 minutes before the start of their flexitime hours until 30 minutes after this period of the day ends.
In effect, this means that employees are not sent work-related messages during their downtime, theoretically allowing them to relax more while not at work.
Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, has confirmed that the policy has gone down well among employees. Chief executives taking leadership training may want to think about implementing similar arrangements at their companies, as there are suggestions that the move could improve productivity.
Speaking to BBC News, chair of the Big Innovation Centre at The Work Foundation Will Hutton suggested the benefits are not just related to staff performance; having real downtime can boost their wellbeing. He explained that he understands why Volkswagen would have put in place such a policy.
"It's bad for the individual worker's performance being online and available 24-7. You do need downtime, you do need periods in which you can actually reflect on something without instantaneously to give a reaction," he remarked.