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Home office vs. location-dependent job

Home office vs. location-dependent job

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Since the beginning of 2020 at the latest, no other debate in professional life has been as hotly debated as the discussion of working from home vs. working in the office. Of course, both have advantages and disadvantages. It is also exciting to see to what extent this discussion influences the world of work (offices, working methods, etc.). All of this is discussed in detail in the following text.

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1. Definition and regulation of home office Home office

Home office, remote working or mobile working – all terms mean the same thing: All work processes take place at home. It is important to say that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the technical requirements for mobile working are met, if they offer it. Apart from the extraordinary time during the Corona pandemic, working from home is not required by law. For example, it is still the case that it is primarily the employers or employees who decide whether mobile working is offered or used.

2. A different world of work than before

Almost everyone involved agrees on one thing: the pandemic has fundamentally changed the world of work. In most companies, where it would have been possible, working from home was still considered an exception and was also made more difficult by various bureaucratic hurdles in the corporate culture. Today, according to the German Institute for Economic Research, around a third work from home. A recent study by Slack’s Future Forum shows that this new trend is here to stay. According to the survey, only 17 percent of employees want to return to the office permanently.

The other 83 percent prefer hybrid working instead, a mix of office work and home office. This change also means that labour law has to be adapted accordingly. In particular, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) appeals to ensure that employees working from home must not be cut off from joint representation vis-à-vis superiors. Accordingly, according to the DGB, it is also necessary to take this component into account in the modernisation of labour rights, so that works councils also have a digital right of access for employee representatives.

The fact that mobile working is here to stay should no longer be dismissed. It is now much more exciting to see what further changes will take place.

3. Advantages of working

From home Working from home offers numerous advantages for both employers and employees. Mobile working has the advantage that you can save significantly on travel costs and experience a great deal of time savings: no traffic jams, no searching for a parking space before and after work and no waiting at bus stops. At least as great is the advantage that you can work according to your own biorhythm. In the home office, you can arrange your own working hours, as long as there are no virtual appointments. In line with this, the freedom of choice in the work area also increases:

If a dress code forces employees to wear long trousers in summer, you can comfortably wear short trousers from home. There are also advantages for employers: The higher the proportion of employees who regularly work from home, the lower the workload in the office. Here, the company not only saves on electricity or heating costs, but can also think about renting a smaller office space. This not only results in monetary advantages, but also increases one’s own employer attractiveness with the offer of mobile working. Many employees see this flexibility as a vote of confidence. A general advantage is the environmental aspect:

If you work from home, for example, you don’t have to drive to work by car and cause correspondingly fewer CO2 emissions. A report by the Institute of Applied Ergonomics confirms this thesis: If ten percent of the workforce were to work from home one day a week, around 4.5 billion kilometers of commuting distance and thus about 850 million kilograms of CO2 could be saved per year.

4. Disadvantages of working

From home An important prerequisite for successful mobile working is self-discipline. If this is not sufficiently available, the previously mentioned advantages (working according to biorhythms, etc.) quickly develop into disadvantages that sustainably deteriorate productivity and thus the work results. Mobile working poses organizational challenges, especially for parents. Toddlers in particular find it difficult to understand why mom or dad now have to sit at their laptop or have long conversations on the phone.

This can lead to stressful interruptions during important meetings. In addition, another disadvantage is social isolation. Instead of eating lunch together, you eat alone in front of your laptop. The typical office conversations are also no longer necessary. For example, many also miss the direct contact with colleagues, which is lost despite the virtual meetings.

Ultimately, it is both the employer’s job and your own job to find a healthy balance between working from home and working in the office. If the framework conditions are right, nothing stands in the way of the new, mobile working age.

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