Daimler let staff enjoy their holidays by automatically deleting emails sent to them

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Daimler, the German car manufacturer, has guaranteed its 100,000 staff members a stress-free summer by introducing a system that will automatically delete the emails of anyone on holiday, says a story in the Daily Mail today.

Anyone who sends an email to the holidaying employee are notified by a ‘Mail on Holiday’ message that the email has not been received, and are invited to contact a nominated substitute instead.

Daimler board member Wilfried Porth told the Financial Times: “Our employees should relax on holiday and not read work-related emails. With ‘Mail on Holiday’ they start back after the holidays with a clean desk. There is no traffic jam in their inbox. That is an emotional relief.”

The system is voluntary so employees can choose whether to use it or not but Daimler assured staff that it would not record those who did choose to use it.

The German government has been at the forefront in initiatives to improve work-life balance, and its labour ministry has told managers to stop emailing or calling staff out-of-hours except in an emergency.

In 2011 Volkswagen announced that company servers would stop routing emails to employee BlackBerrys during the evenings and managers at Deutsche Telekom have agreed to stop sending emails to staff during the evenings, weekends and holidays.

Travel Republic, Europe’s leading online travel agent has revealed how office-based Brits feel when it comes to taking time out of the office in search for sunnier climes, based on research of 1000 UK-based office workers. 

A whopping 52 percent of us admit to checking emails whilst on holiday, of which 26 percent claim to respond to emails too.  However, it’s the younger employees that are the most conscientious, with 38 percent of them claiming to read and respond to emails when they are away, compared to 29 percent of people aged 45-54.

That said, 45 percent of office workers aged 35 to 44, said they let their ‘out of office’ message do what it’s intended for, and never check their emails.

The research reveals that women seem to be more relaxed than men when they fly off, with 54 percent never looking at work emails, compared to 42 percent of men.

Too many couples admitted to getting hot under the collar about reading work emails on holiday, with 36 percent saying they had fallen out. 7 in 10 females confessed to having a problem with their other halves checking their emails on holiday (70%) compared to 58 percent of men who see it as an issue.

The study prompted Travel Republic to launch a fun ‘Out of Office art’ campaign, giving people plain text images to add to their out of office messages to remind them to be happy about being away, rather than feeling guilty.

Elliott Prichard, Chief Marketing Officer of Travel Republic commented: “We initially wanted to understand the emotions people experience when preparing to leave the office for annual leave, and the biggest emotion is ‘relief’ (46%).  As workplaces become busier, annual leave becomes more of a luxury, but the reality is that many office workers cannot completely turn off.

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