2 Oct 2014

Germany plans to make sending colleagues work emails after 6pm illegal

Do you exchange banter and plans for the working day with your colleagues after work over email?
Does your boss incessantly email you when you are out for drinks with your friends, trying to forget about work?

In Germany, it is looking like the government will put a stop to this. 

After-work emails make us sad

A new study, commissioned by the German minister for Labour, Andrea Nahles, expected to come out in 2016 is projected to create new legislation, which won’t let your colleagues email you after 6pm.
"There is an undeniable relationship between constant availability and the increase of mental illness," Nahles told the Rheinische Post.
Email is now a significant part of the average worker's work with a McKinsey study estimating that over a quarter (28%) of the day is now spent sending emails or replying to them.

And emails add 5 hours to the working day

Well kind of. Email means we aren’t working 9-5 anymore. The average working day now starts at 7.17am and ends at 7.02pm because employees are checking e-mails on their phones, according to a 2012 study by a technology company. 
If the Germans pass the proposed change, it will be the first legislation in the world to restrict after-work email so tightly, with some French unions signing a labour agreement to allow employees to disconnect from email after working a 13 hour day,  but that is nothing like as radical as banning E-mails after 6pm.
Volkswagen was an early starter in this field, banning emails 30 minutes after work ends in 2011.
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