It’s still best at home. This is also increasingly the opinion of employees who would like to have their workplace in their own four walls. More and more employers are offering “telework”, as the home office is also called, as a workplace model for a few days a week or for the entire working time. Expressed in numbers: around 70 percent of all companies in Germany. An overview of the pros and cons of teleworking:
Home office as a result of the digitization of the working world – freely selectable work locations and flexible working hours
Digitization has meanwhile reached (almost) all areas of life, so it is also increasingly changing parts of our working world. One consequence of this is that work in many professional fields can now be done anywhere. Whether in a café, in the park or at home – if the appropriate technical aids are available and a stable and fast internet connection is established, work can start. But it’s really that simple in practice too?
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Advantages of the home office – more peace and quiet for employees, lower costs for companies
The advantages of the home office are obvious, at least on paper. If the employees have set up their office at home, there is usually a lower level of noise than at the workplace on site, provided the office is in a separate room. In this case, employees are not as easily distracted as they are at the workplace, so they can be more productive and, in some cases, more satisfied. Working in a familiar environment – for some workers this is a clear advantage of teleworking.
Teleworking also offers a number of advantages for companies, otherwise they would hardly offer their employees this option. The companies can reduce their office space costs, among other things because they save on the equipment for setting up the workplace on site. If an employee feels comfortable in the home office and works more productively, this is also profitable for the company.
Disadvantages of teleworking in the home office – danger of social isolation and higher self-imposed work pressure
When it comes to teleworking, what is important to the productivity of work is what the worker is doing. In the home office, the employees who take on creative tasks are more productive, for example in the information and communication industry and in freelance and scientific service areas. On the other hand, those who carry out monotonous, repetitive tasks lose productivity while teleworking, as employees tend to be distracted at home, for example. This can also happen if the constant closeness to the family and the related family tasks distract from the professional activity. In addition, it can happen that there is a lack of direct communication, as at this one Place to read is, leads to higher self-imposed work pressure in the home office. Teleworking can create a feeling of social isolation as home workers only come into contact with colleagues over the phone or through other virtual channels.
New regulations on the part of politics put a brake on the expansion of teleworking
The federal government wants in the context of its digital Agenda 2014 to 2017 actually promote the topic of teleworking. Actually, the central word in this sentence is because two ministries work more against each other than with each other on this issue.
On the one hand, Family Minister Manuela Schwesig wants the economy to approve more teleworking positions so that employees can better combine work and family. In concrete terms, this means that this workplace model enables home workers to spend more time with their children, for example, or to better support relatives in need of care.
On the other hand, Federal Labor Minister Andrea Nahles is making the expansion of telework more difficult with a draft to amend the Workplace Ordinance. Accordingly, employers should check the following points: Does the home office set up by the employee himself comply with the health and safety guidelines, for example with regard to the recommended lighting, is the room temperature set correctly, is the desk large enough? On the one hand, this would mean unnecessary bureaucratic effort, on the other hand, employees are not obliged to let neither their employer nor an agency that takes care of occupational safety into their own four walls.
The establishment of the home workplace
Depending on the activity and company, it is important to consider whether it makes sense to do the work from home. If the employee and employer have an agreement on teleworking, setting up the home office is the first step. Employees who already work from home and those interested in teleworking can find information on setting up an office within their own four walls at this link. Practical tips are given, for example which type of desk is the right choice for the respective room size and which measures are useful for a back-friendly way of working, for example an office chair. Furthermore, suggestions are made on how your own office can be transformed into a room in which good and lets you work productively.