A concerned man checking his laptop on the beach

Sure, you can set an out-of-office auto-reply to let others know they shouldn't email you, but that doesn't usually stop the messages; you may still have to handle those urgent-but-not-really requests while you're on vacation. That's not a problem if you work at Daimler, though. The German automaker recently installed software that not only auto-replies to email sent while staff is away, but deletes it outright. If there's a meltdown at the workplace, you may not have to deal with it at all. The move affects about 100,000 employees, so it's clearly going to make an impact.

The cut-off reflects a broader European rebellion against after-hours communication. Daimler believes that people on break actually deserve a break, and that managers shouldn't try to wring out a few extra hours of work that likely aren't necessary. It might have a point: studies even suggest that Germany, France and other countries that discourage overtime are very productive. There's no telling whether or not large US companies will follow suit, but it's doubtful that many Americans would object to less stress in their lives.

[Image credit: Alamy]