The email culture that is German, with reference to optimal queuing theory
Daimler employees can head to the beach this summer without worrying about checking emails, sparing their partners and children the frustration of work-related matters intruding on the family vacation.
The Stuttgart-based car and truckmaker said about 100,000 German employees can now choose to have all their incoming emails automatically deleted when they are on holiday so they do not return to a bulging in-box.
For that matter they will not feel any pressure to check work email while they are away. From the FT there is more here.
You will notice this is related to some ideas from optimal queuing theory. The sender is notified that the email will be obliterated, and if it is important, he or she can send again and rejoin the queue once the recipient is back from vacation. In other words, when a long queue of email might otherwise form, potential queue creators are told they have to wait and restart later on, but at the back of the line, so to speak.
Some part of me finds this deeply wrong, but perhaps as a blogger/infovore I am not the person to ask. And there is this, which I don’t believe can be the long-term equilibrium:
It is up to Daimler employees to decide whether they wish to use the system, but Daimler assured staff it would not record who had done so.
There is a legal/regulatory angle too:
Germany’s labour ministry told managers to stop emailing or calling staff out-of-hours except in an emergency.