The workplace in the home office
During the Corona pandemic, many companies have had experience of their employees working in the home office. A forsa survey commissioned by the IBA revealed that 43% of all employees in Germany moved to their home office during the lockdown. The originators of the Mannheim Corona study took an even closer look. According to the study, 25% of all employees were working exclusively in their home office at the end of March. At the beginning of July, 7% of employees were still doing so, 22% were alternating between working at home and in the office at that time, and the rest had already returned to the office completely. However, it is unlikely that all of them will fully return after Corona. As our fact-check shows, there are good reasons to use both: The office and the home office.
Teleworking vs. mobile working?
Those who work in a home office relocate the office to their homes. At least that would be the literal meaning of the term. Normally, this means teleworking. Mostly, however, the term home office is used if only occasional work in the home environment is meant. Then it is mobile working. Good working conditions should exist in both cases.
Setting up the home office
The workplace within the four walls of the home must fit into the existing premises, that much is clear. At the same time, it must also be functional and safe. This also means not making any compromises with regard to one's own health. What should be taken into account depends, among other things, on the amount of work to be done at home. Anyone who only reads a mail now and then should pay attention to data security first and foremost. Anyone who regularly works for a few hours in a home office needs a workplace that meets the basic rules of ergonomic workplace design.
There is currently no legal right to work in a home office in Germany. However, a claim can arise from collective agreements or company agreements. If this is not the case, employers and employees can make individual agreements.
Accidents that occur during a legally insured activity are usually occupational accidents. This applies regardless of the place where the work is carried out, including the home office. However, not every activity during working hours is also a job-related activity. In the home office, it is therefore often difficult to distinguish between them. Relevant judgements state that going to the kitchen is not insured by the accident insurance funds of the professional associations. On the other hand, those who check why their WLAN network is on strike are insured even if the router is located in a room away from the actual workplace.
Transferring the operational standards for IT security to domestic workplaces often involves greater effort. Nevertheless, companies should determine which communication tools can be used at home, which documents may be taken along and how access to sensitive data by third parties can be prevented.