• Germany edition
Hundreds of great job opportunities for foreign professionals at Germany's top employers - in cooperation with Monster, Experteer, Stepstone, and CareerBuilder.
jobs available
Find English-speaking professionals with The Local.
Advertise a vacancy
Businesses call for email-free Christmas
Photo: DPA

Businesses call for email-free Christmas

Published: 29 Nov 2012 11:56 CET

Bosses should at least impose a ban on work communication between Christmas and New Year, Mario Ohoven, head of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses told Thursday's Bild newspaper.

“Clever employers grant their colleagues some Christmas peace in the true sense of the word. Between Christmas and New Year mobile phones should be switched off except in emergencies,” he told the paper.

The rapid spread of smart phones, tablets and laptops means more employees than ever are constantly available to colleagues and clients. A recent study showed that 29 percent of German employees were open to receive emails and phone calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And with a total 89 billion work-related emails sent worldwide every day - a figure predicted to rise to 144 billion by 2016 – German employers are discussing how to best create a healthy work-life balance.

German Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen recently called for a clearer separation of work and leisure time, and reminded bosses of their legal duty to actively protect the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees.

“When do I have to check mails and when is it ok that I deal with them later? Technology does not pose a problem for health, we just have to learn to deal with it sensibly,” the minister said in June this year.

“We need (to establish) a right to be unavailable, in order to protect employees' leisure time,” Lothar Schröder, member of the board of services trade union Verdi told the paper.

Many large firms have issued rules or statements designed to allow workers to switch off and relax without feeling guilty, yet most have left it up to the individual to decide whether to answer emails in their free time.

“No-one is expecting (employees to) check mails under the Christmas tree. Management should make sure their colleagues don't overstretch themselves,” a spokesman from manufacturing giant Siemens told the paper.

Others said the nature of their work meant they had to be ready to react at the weekend too.

“I'm against a strict rule,” said Herbert Hainer, head of Adidas Germany. “Since we deal with sport, we have to be able to react sometimes at the weekend too. Still, it has to be [something] really important.”

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article:

The comments below have not been moderated in advance and are not produced by The Local unless clearly stated. Readers are responsible for the content of their own comments. Comments that breach our terms and conditions will be removed.

Your German Career
What do German bosses need to do to get more out of their staff? Frankfurt-based business consultant Justin Bariso has this advice.
Germany's Federal Employment Agency has identified the job sectors the country is most short of workers for. JobTalk looks at where the vacancies lie.
Students at German universities have shown themselves to be a risk-free lot in a survey by Ernst & Young. The civil service is their most popular choice of future profession, while job security is valued above all else.
Jenny Core, originally from Bolton, England, shares her tips in this week’s My German Career on being an artist in Berlin. The 27-year-old exhibits her work regularly in the city, including next to a Turner Prize shortlister.
In this week's JobTalk, Tanya Schober, who is originally from India, talks us through her journey to German citizenship.
In this week's My German Career, Anupama Gopalakrishna, who is originally from Bangalore in India, tells The Local about her new life in Frankfurt.
German Employment News
The Local speaks to experts from the German startup scene to find out how to get a job at a freshly-minted technology company.
Volkswagen hopes to put more robots to work as it says goodbye to its retiring baby boomer employees, the company's chief of human resources wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday.
The jobmesse deutschland (Job Expo Germany) is rolling into Berlin on Saturday as part of its annual 18-city tour. Here's why you should go if you're looking for a job in Germany.
A new study shows more and more immigrants are starting businesses in Germany, bringing some much-needed entrepreneurial spirit to the country.
It’s not quite as romantic as the Nanny Diaries, nor is it as magical as Mary Poppins. But being an au pair in Germany can be fun, as Emma Anderson finds out.
What kind of companies are hiring foreigners in Germany? And which type of firm should you target for your next career move? Recruitment expert Chris Pyak reveals all to JobTalk.

IELTS Examiners – British Council China
The British Council is recruiting a team of IELTS examiners to be based in one of our four main cities in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Chongqing. This presents an exciting opportunity for new or current IELTS examiners to work in one of the world’s largest and most dynamic English language assessment environments

StepStone Deutschland GmbH
Added 10/20/14

think-cell Software GmbH
Added 10/20/14

StepStone Deutschland GmbH
Brüssel, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Warschau
Added 10/20/14

Celesio AG
Added 10/20/14

Kautex Textron GmbH & Co.KG
Added 10/20/14

StepStone Deutschland GmbH
Düsseldorf, Brussels
Added 10/20/14

StepStone Deutschland GmbH
Berlin, München, Brüssel
Added 10/20/14

JobManager24 GmbH
München / Home Office
Added 10/20/14

Bigpoint GmbH
Added 10/20/14

ABN AMRO Lease N.V. Niederlassung Deutschland
Frankfurt am Main
Added 10/19/14