Vacation Auto-delete for Email: Good Policy or Bad for Business?

by Phil Stott | August 14, 2014

Over on his Marginal Revolution blog, Economist Tyler Cowen reports that German auto firm Daimler has given some 100,000 employees the option to have any incoming emails auto-delete while they are on vacation.

According to the FT piece cited by Cowen, "The sender is notified by the 'Mail on Holiday' assistant that the email has not been received and is invited to contact a nominated substitute instead. Employees can therefore return from their summer vacation to an empty inbox."

As refreshing as that sounds, it's a practice that seems unlikely to take off in the U.S.--especially at a time where companies expect more productivity from employees than ever before (meaning that your already overloaded "nominated substitute" is likely to need a vacation from your vacation).

But I can't help but wonder what would happen if such a policy took off here--would people actually use it? And would it help or hinder businesses in the long run? i.e. where's the tipping point between the benefits of being refreshed on your return from vacation, and the risk of being out of the loop with what's going on? Let me know your thoughts below, or on Twitter @vaultconsult.

Read More:

Marginal Revolution: The email culture that is German, with reference to optimal queuing theory (h/t to Quartz Daily Brief)

Filed Under: Consulting | Networking | Salary & Benefits | Workplace Issues

Tags: Company policies | Vacation | Work-life balance


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