In another example of the European revolution against after-work-hours communication, German automaker Daimler has taken steps to protect employees’ vacation time by deleting any emails they receive while away. The company’s newly installed software sends auto-replies and then deletes the potentially disrupting message from the recipient’s inbox, allowing the vacationer to truly enjoy their time off and come back to a much cleaner inbox. This move affects about 100,000 employees.
Daimler’s new policy comes just a few months after France made it illegal for about 250,000 employees in the digital and consultancy sectors to check and respond to work emails outside of working hours. Gothenburg, Sweden also began running an experiment this summer to test whether a six hour workday would improve employees’ productivity per hour and result in fewer sick days. After a year, the government will decide whether to expand the program.
It’s clear Europe is in the midst of shaking up the workplace. If successful, it’ll be interesting to see how far these initiatives spread.