Radio silence after work: ministry wants to switch off e-mails

Radio silence after work: ministry wants to switch off e-mails

In a new code, the department of ursula von der leyen (CDU) pledges to contact employees outside of working hours only in exceptional cases. The aim is to avoid "self-exploitation of the workforce".

To ensure that colleagues do not have to feel constantly under power even when using cell phones, smartphones and laptops, the staff council and the management of the ministry of labor agreed on the following regulation. An agreement to avoid stress has already been in force since may, it was announced in berlin on friday. However, it is not a question of a blanket shutdown requirement, but rather a differentiated model tailored to the different functions of the employees in the.

According to the "suddeutsche zeitung", no employee who "switches off his cell phone or does not check his messages" outside of working hours should be disadvantaged in any case.

The decision to adopt clear rules in von der leyen’s house is obviously an exception so far – not all departments of the federal government have such special rules in place. According to a spokeswoman, the ministry of economics, for example, does not have any such detailed regulations. In practice, however, the existing agreement meant that employees could only be disturbed in justified exceptions: "but then they were also allowed to do it."

In the ministry of the interior, according to a spokesman, such a regulation does not exist. Employees had plenty of time to recover. The crisis center in the foreign office is available around the clock. In the chancellor’s office, there is no general obligation to be available at all times – with the exception of on-call duty.

In the business world, there has long been a growing awareness of the need to take countermeasures. All in all, however, every company must know for itself how to counter the danger of burnout. "German employers handle their employees’ working time and free time responsibly," says the BDA association. At the same time, voluntary work should not be curtailed: "commitment and willingness to perform should not be forcibly restricted."

Even corporations like daimler take the issue seriously. Stuttgart carmaker daimler is currently evaluating a model trial in which employees are not bothered with e-mails in their free time and on vacation. After the results have been evaluated, it will then be possible for all employees with PC workstations to voluntarily stop receiving electronic messages during their free time.

Similar rules apply at carmaker volkswagen. There will not be forwarded mails after closing time. According to the paper, telekom is asking its employees to refrain from making work-related phone calls and sending e-mails during their free time. At the energy giant eon or the sporting goods manufacturer puma there are therefore also restrictions.

Meanwhile, carmaker BMW relies on self-control. Except in the case of explicitly agreed on-call services, no one is obliged to be available outside working hours. Siemens, on the other hand, has no special rules for dealing with late e-mails. "Every employee is mouthy. He should be able to decide for himself when to use the media and when to switch them off," said a spokesman for the munich-based group. The pharmaceutical company boehringer ingelheim points to a well-established understanding between management and staff: it has been "standard practice for many years to respect the employees’ vacation and vacation".

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