In an effort to reduce work stress and improve quality of life, the Canadian Deputy Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Richard Fadden, has issued a memo to its employees to stop using their BlackBerrys between 7 PM and 7 AM, as well as on weekends, holidays and during meetings. You’d think that everybody would be popping the champagne now that they can relax a little without the ol’ ball and chain, but it’s not entirely the case.
“The department is the first to try to limit the ubiquitous BlackBerry, prompting some diehard users to assail the move as ‘a stupid decision that pretends to deal with the real issue of workload and stress.’ ‘So would we have banned telephones on bureaucrats’ desks at the turn of the century?’ huffed one senior bureaucrat.”
Being in Ottawa, we regularly bust the government’s chops for abusing the Berry, but this sounds like a step in the right direction. Whether or not other departments will do the same is anybody’s guess, but the CIC has set a precedent that we can only hope others will follow.