Saturday, 4 August 2007

Don't Let Your Blackberry Make You Crumble

Last week Tim Yates, Vodafone’s Chief marketing Officer sent out the following memo to everyone in Vodafone:-

I’d like to announce some changes to our email ‘out of office policy which will take effect immediately.

The reason why we are doing this is to make sure we are all aligned and consistent with our new brand – Make the most of now – and to take every opportunity to promote our solutions to work on the move.

As we are now all mostly able to work on the move, our ‘out of office’ notification should only be used if we are on annual leave or during illness and not if we are out of the office in meetings or on training courses. I’d also like to remind you that it is company policy not to include the dates we are away, for security reasons.

In order to achieve a consistent approach, the following is now the approved wording for our out of office notification

I’m now away on annual leave. I appreciate that with Vodafone’s mobile working solutions you can contact me just about anytime, anywhere. However, in my absence if you need a swift response you may wish to contact []

Please make sure you change your current out of office notification to the one detailed above. Many thanks for your support.

Tim Yates
Chief Marketing Officer

The underlying message here is clear, Vodafone expects it’s people to continue to perform their day job even if your away on a training course or out in meetings all day. Otherwise those around us will suffer as they have no way of knowing you’re away from your desk.

The only way this can be achieved is by doing the day job either during breaks or in your own time at the end of the day. This is completely unacceptable and is essentially working for free. Vodafone is not a charity, the company makes serious money and if there is a need to employ more people to cover for meetings and training courses they can afford it.

Connect are running WORKTIMEyourtime, our campaign for a better work life balance. If you are under pressure to work in your own time you should contact Connect immediately for advice. Here are some tips specifically for Vodafone workers:

1 Turn off your work phone when you leave the building, unless you’re paid to be on stand by there’s no need for anyone to be able to contact you in your free time.
2 Turn off your Blackberry when you leave the office, this avoids temptation to read emails when you hear the buzz.
3 Use a separate phone for personal use so your friends and family can contact you but work can’t.
4 If you're out of the office for reasons other than annual leave, and there is a complaint as to why you haven’t responded refer the complainant to Tim Yates message prohibiting sensible use of out of office response.


Anonymous said...

"However, in my absence if you need a swift response you may wish to contact []"

Typical Marketing-person's misunderstanding of technology. If you need a "swift response", don't use e-mail: pick up the phone!

Rather than waste everyone's time with this (twice - there's been an update today), why doesn't Tim get his marketing messages added to all outgoing out-of-office responses as a footer?

I'll consider updating my perfectly adequate auto-response when he's stopped flip-flopping... ;-)

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