Many of us have been lately forced to work from home. Working from home means that you make your living space your working one too, some hated it, but others loved the experience.
In Germany, homeworking is also known as teleworking and it is a flexible form of work in which employees perform their work in full or in part from their “private surroundings”.
The requirements and the necessary equipment for a home office depend of the field of the employees, but generally three forms of teleworking can be distinguished:
• telecommuting: the employee works exclusively from home;
• alternating telework: employees have a workplace in the company and can work from home too when needed (some companies alternate the times their employees are in the workplace to reduce running costs);
• mobile networking: the workplace moves with the employee; this is valid for industries with high travel volumes.
In Germany, from a labor law perspective, employers and employees observe the same regulations of traditional working conditions. Employers should make clear agreements that define the framework times and conditions and in some cases contracts are supplemented by individual regulations too.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a home office? We have listed them below, considering:
1- positive aspects:
• costs reduction, particularly in terms of transport;
• increased productivity, for those who are able to find a silent place;
• positive effect on the employer brand;
• trust between company and employees.
2- negative aspects:
• difficult coordination and increased organisational effort;
• negative effects on the sense of team spirit and on social life;
• high demanding quality IT equipment and data security. The Workplace Ordinance (ArbStättV) stipulates that the employer is responsible for equipping the home office if an employee has agreed weekly working hours at the teleworking station, but in facts this not always happens;
• time control and poor family-job balance;
• many legal requirements for both company and employee.
It is worth specifying that we all are different and all have different opinions, it can therefore be possible that the advantages and the disadvantages in the way we put them may not be true for everyone.