The workplace in the home office
According to an Ipsos survey, around half of knowledge workers in Germany worked at least some of the time in places other than the office in 2022. Many of them certainly at a workplace at home. It is popular to work at home because many homeworkers find good conditions for concentrated work there. Our fact-check shows the advantages and disadvantages of working from home and what speaks more in favour of working in the 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.
The Institute for Work and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IAG) has created a CHECK-UP for the home office workplace. Employees can use this to assess their working conditions in the home office. Employers can use the CHECK-UP as a basis for the risk assessment of home office workplaces.
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 workplace at home. 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. In Germany going to the kitchen is insured if you just want to get a drink there, but going to the door to open the door for the messenger with the private parcels is not. Further Information on the legal situation in Germany can be found, for example, on the VBG website.
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.