These days, working in a home office is no longer a rarity. For some people, the home office is the main workplace, while others only use it occasionally. Especially in times of Corona, many companies focus on protecting employees from infection when working from home.
But what rights do you actually have in the home office? And how to focus on effective work?
Do you have a right to home office?
Clearly NO to this question! Employers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can decide for themselves whether they want to give employees the opportunity to have a home office. Nobody may insist on this.
However, if you have the permission of your employer, they are given the same rights as in the office: You are not allowed to work longer than the contractual working hours, you are entitled to the normal break times and they are obliged to document your working hours.
If you are only in the home office in exceptional cases, there are no regulations for your workplace. This can be at the kitchen table or in the living room. However, if your home becomes your main place of work, occupational health and safety regulations must be respected. Your employer is responsible for this, so he even has the authority to inspect and approve your home office workplace.
If an accident occurs within your four walls during your working hours, the statutory accident insurance will apply. The prerequisite is that you have actually been working in a business during this time. If you get up to open the door for the postman or pour yourself a glass of water, it is not considered an accident at work.
By the way, despite Corona, you have no right to a home office. If you insist on working at home for fear of infection, you risk losing your job. Many companies where it was otherwise not an issue now offer home offices or ask their employees to work from home. In order to avoid social contacts and to reduce the spread of the virus, an agreement on the home office should be made.
Be productive, don’t let yourself be distracted
Nowhere is it as easy to be distracted from work as at home. Quickly switch on the washing machine, briefly sort the mail and what does the Insta timeline say? The important thing is to focus and create a good, pleasant working environment.
A calm workplace
Your kitchen is in chaos and the living room still has the glasses from last night? You’ll have to tidy up a bit to keep your mind clear. Sit upright at a table where your laptop can stand comfortably. If possible, use an external screen, mouse and keyboard. This way you can work more ergonomically and effectively.
Take a break
Even if you don’t go to lunch with your colleagues, you should pay attention to your break times. For lunch, consciously remove yourself from your workplace or at least close your laptop. This way your eyes and head can relax a little and the keyboard stays free of crumbs or sticky food leftovers. Pay attention to your working hours. If you find it difficult to keep the times at home, set an alarm clock and when your working hours are over, close the laptop. After a certain time you are no longer fully concentrated.
Going to work at home
Set up a work area that is not affected by free time. It is ideal, for example, if you don’t have to sit somewhere else every day, but can leave your laptop at one place. This way you can combine work with this area and be more concentrated.
Even if the temptation is high, do not turn on the TV! Your attention will automatically shift to the moving images. To really get ready for a working day, it is also advisable to keep up your morning rituals. Sitting in front of the computer in your pyjamas or even working straight out of bed is not a good idea. Those who dress up as if they were going to the office are more dynamic and professional at home as well.
Do not lose colleagues out of sight
Keep in touch with your colleagues from home as well. Many companies rely on company chats where you can briefly coordinate and exchange ideas. A regular telephone or video conference will bring everyone up to date and will also allow you to exchange information visually by sharing your screen.
At home with kids
Schools and kindergartens are currently closed and the employer orders home offices. No easy task to work effectively if you are available at the same time as mum or dad. It is helpful to explain the situation to the younger ones in particular: Mommy/Daddy isn’t free and unfortunately can’t play all the time. Plan your little ones into the breaks. Eat lunch together and play right after work. In between, the childrens have to occupy themselves alone – painting, puzzles, radio plays. A separate work area is also helpful for children. Whoever sits here is working and should not be disturbed.
If your job and your employer allow it, you can also shift your working hours to evening. When the little ones are asleep, it’s wonderfully quiet in the home office.
The last rescue can also be an exception – the current situation sometimes allows unusual measures. If you really need peace and quiet, you can let your children watch TV during the day or perhaps play a game on the tablet. This is an exception, you can make that clear to them without having to have a bad conscience.
#stayhome #staystrong #staysafe