We like it! This app won’t let you check work email when you’re off hours

new enterprise email app puts wall work personal time enforcedvacation
The line between work and personal time has blurred thanks to the ability to access work-related emails outside of the office. While some employers may be fine with this (what’s better than work done off the clock, after all?), it’s important to maintain a wall between work and home that is more stable than those flimsy cubicle partition panels.

Enforced Vacation has an aggressive name, but the result it’s banking on providing is more relaxation and piece of mind for workers and employers alike. The enterprise email app wants to put an end to 24/7 email access, a freedom that actually results in subjection to work well beyond office hours. It does this by essentially putting a power switch in the hands of the employee, allowing them to turn off work emails during personal time.

“We give people back their personal time. Staying constantly connected has become an addiction for many. For many others it’s a weight they think they have to carry,” explains David Thielen, CTO and Founder of Winward Studios, the creators of Enforced Vacation.

While reading or responding to email doesn’t seem like a burden, research suggests it takes a bigger toll than one might imagine. A recent Gallup poll found that those who checked their email on a mobile device outside of work reported higher stress levels than those who didn’t. The concept of “leaving work at work” is easier said than done when it’s just a few taps to find out if a client sent you an important email, but doing so just adds extra weight to your load of things to worry about.

Individuals are able to set up Enforced Vacation to fit their schedule, allowing a more personalized experience than company-wide blanket on and off periods. Group leaders are able to modify settings for a selection of people, set filters, and toggle settings as needed. Enforced Vacation also provides email necessities, including the ability to search, filter and prioritize emails.

And if there’s any need to get into your inbox while off the clock, it is still possible. Emails received during work hours are still viewable, high priority contacts and messages can be viewed, and users can still send emails when necessary.

The benefit for companies, though it might not seem as clear, is simple: A happy employee works better. “We have employees here at Windward who are never off email. This is a giant problem because it leads to burn out, it degrades their personal life, and they never have a chance to relax and recharge,” Thielen says. “Employees that leave work behind are more innovative and productive. Both when they come in to a new day refreshed. And it’s when they’re not thinking of work at all that most of the truly brilliant ideas pop into their mind. Brilliance requires down time.”

The idea utilized by Enforced Vacation capitalizes on concepts already in place overseas. French work unions have made efforts to make work emails off-limits outside of work hours; German Labor Minister Guntram Schneider has pushed for “anti-stress laws” that outlaw work emails after hours; The Canadian Mental Health Association has suggested only checking email a few times a day and shutting it off when outside of the office. Enforced Vacation puts those principles to practice.

Enforced Vacation is out now and is available for free for the first month. It costs $1 per user per month. Each user gets 1GB of bandwidth free, with each additional GB of bandwidth priced at $0.15. There is currently no individual plan available.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

From simple work tools to high-end gaming peripherals, these are the best mice

If you're looking to buy the best mouse for you, whether it's for gaming or work, we have something for you. We've put together a list of our favorite mice, all of which have great features and sell at a great price.

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.

This is the one thing you need to do before giving your child a smart phone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage Read on to find out how you can protect your child from online…

Walmart drops a killer deal on the Apple iPad Mini 4 tablet

The Apple iPad still reigns supreme in the tablet market, and the pint-sized 7.9-inch iPad Mini is the perfect everyday carry companion. Now’s the perfect chance to score a deal on the last-gen iPad Mini 4 before it’s gone for good.

Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Google's Creative Lab developed an experiment called Drawalong AR that could make it easier for aspiring artists to follow YouTube tutorials. The experiment essentially leverages Google's ARCore to create a virtual tracing paper.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best affordable phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget…

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Solve a galaxy of problems with a simple reset of your S10

If your Samsung smartphone is acting up, then you may want to try resetting it. We'll show you how to overcome simple issues with a soft reset and also how to tackle bigger problems or prep it for sale with a factory reset.

Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.

iFixit's teardown might show the reason the Galaxy Fold keeps breaking

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.