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Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman created a staff "blackout week" once each quarter in which no one besides the company's customer-service reps area allowed to work. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

LONDON (AP) — Volkswagen turns off some employees’ email 30 minutes after their shifts end. Goldman Sachs is urging junior staff to take weekends off.

This surge in corporate beneficence isn’t an indication that employers are becoming kinder and gentler: It’s about the bottom line. After years in which the ease of instant communication via email and smartphones allowed bosses to place greater and greater demands on white-collar workers, some companies are beginning to set limits, recognizing that successful employees must be able to escape from work.

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