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Blackberry’s home time
In Germany, Volkswagen recently decided to improve the work-life balance of its employees by disabling the receipt of work emails outside of working hours. All other functions of the smartphone are not affected, so it still can be used as normal.
Why it matters
VW’s initiative is based on the findings that being accessible all the time can be both a blessing and a curse. Although this is well-intended, it is questionable if shutting down emails really stops people from working overtime. Will this company rule be a point of advantage or maybe even disadvantage for the company as an employer brand?
Philips, in partnership with Dutch bank ABN AMRO, have created the Rationalizer system, which comprises an 'EmoBowl' and 'EmoBracelet'. These devices act as indicators of the wearer's mood. A skin detector in the bracelet responds to any increase in emotional intensity, and displays its findings as a dynamic light pattern on either the bracelet itself or on the nearby, rather cool-looking bowl. The colours inside the bowl change from a soft yellow, to orange, to a deep, cautionary red. It’s being touted as a tool to prevent traders from making rash decisions.
Research agency Millward Brown now deliver reports via a free iPhone application available to clients.