Healthy in the home officeDigitization has greatly changed the world of work. Laptops and the Internet now make it possible to work from home in many jobs. The Corona pandemic has rapidly accelerated this development. In our Healthy Home Office section, we have compiled a wide range of information on how to create an ergonomic environment for working at home, stay fit, maintain social contacts and achieve a good work-life balance.
Home office: what is it?
Home office has been an everyday concept at least since the Corona pandemic. In the literal sense, this means the home office. However, the colloquial term home office rather stands for various flexible forms of work. The place to work is no longer just the office.
The term "home office" is often used to refer to "teleworking" and "mobile working" synonymously, without differentiating more precisely. However, there are differences between these forms of work. We present them to you in more detail.
Teleworking refers to the method of working when the employee works entirely or partially at home. The latter variant is referred to as alternating telework.
The following points are typical for teleworking, which are also legally defined in the so-called workplace ordinance:
– The employer shall provide permanently installed computer workstations in the employees' private area. This includes, among other things, office furniture and computer/laptop. – Employer and employee agree on a weekly working time and the duration of teleworking. – The employer must ensure that the teleworking workplace meets the same legal requirements as the company workplace. – The conditions of teleworking are defined contractually or within the framework of an individual agreement.
With alternating telecommuting, the employee has both a workstation at the company and at home at his or her disposal. It may be used as needed. Change arrangement.
In many companies, therefore, there are now also workplaces that are shared by several employees – also called "desk sharing".
Mobile working means that the employee works from a mobile device. This includes laptop, tablet or smartphone. The location is arbitrary – for example, a sales employee can work at customer sites, on the train or from a business trip. An important prerequisite is that the employee has access to the IT infrastructure of his or her company.
If an employee has agreed on mobile working with his employer, he is allowed to autonomously determine his place of work and to use the advantages that result from it.
Labor regulations are different for mobile working than for teleworking. Although the laws on occupational safety and working hours apply, the workplace ordinance does not apply here. For example, it would be difficult for an employer to ensure the safety of a chair in a hotel room.
Overall, the cost to the employer is lower. The employee usually only needs a laptop, smartphone and possibly a headset when working on the move. These purchases must be borne by the employer – unless otherwise agreed individually. However, since the work environment is not clearly defined, he does not incur any costs for office furniture.
Read more here about what support you can get from your employer in the home office and what obligations apply.
Home office: What am I entitled to? Home office is becoming more and more popular. Read here about what your employer will then have to provide and pay for you.
Home office: advantages and disadvantages
Working in a home office has various advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, employees are more flexible, save travel time and often complete their tasks in a more focused and concentrated manner.
On the other hand, it is important for healthy working that the equipment in the home office is ergonomic. This applies above all to the table and the chair. The right shape of mouse and keyboard is also crucial to avoid poor posture.
The home office also brings social changes: there are no more shared breaks with colleagues, no exchanges in the coffee kitchen or in the hallway.
Those who used to eat lunch in the cafeteria now have to get up and go to the stove themselves. In addition, if children live in the household, it is often a challenge to set limits in order to be able to work peacefully.