Home office – Working in the living room

The con­cept of home office describes – this much is now gen­er­ally known – the pos­si­bil­ity of work­ing from home. The model allows employ­ees to set up a work­place within their own four walls in order to bet­ter rec­on­cile their pri­vate lives with their jobs. Employ­ers, on the other hand, use this offer to improve their image, ensure employee sat­is­fac­tion and increase their attrac­tive­ness for poten­tial appli­cants.

But what con­crete advan­tages does the home office offer the employee? What is expected of them and what con­di­tions must be cre­ated?


It is very easy to save time by work­ing in the home office, largely by elim­i­nat­ing the need to travel. There is no need for com­mut­ing, traf­fic jams or annoy­ing park­ing searches, leav­ing more time for impor­tant things such as con­cen­trated work or rest peri­ods. On aver­age, one extra hour per day can be expected. You can also sleep longer in the morn­ing or get up later. This addi­tional half hour to hour already makes the deci­sive dif­fer­ence for many for a good start into the day.

Being flex­i­ble

In addi­tion to the time saved by the home office, the employee also becomes more flex­i­ble. Whether a doctor’s or craftsman’s appoint­ment or the child’s the­atre per­for­mance. It becomes more con­ve­nient to coor­di­nate and ful­fil oblig­a­tions in the morn­ing and to make the com­pat­i­bil­ity of work and fam­ily more pos­i­tive. There is how­ever a rule: The pri­vate dates may not affect at the expense of the agreed work­load. A clear arrange­ment with col­leagues is also ben­e­fi­cial, at which times the desk is occu­pied and when not.

Sav­ing money is also pos­si­ble

You can save money by work­ing in the home office. On the one hand by sav­ing on travel costs or lunch in the restau­rant, on the other hand, by the fact that the home office can be deducted from the tax under cer­tain cir­cum­stances! Accord­ing to the Income Tax Act, the costs of the home office and equip­ment can be deducted from the tax. The pre­req­ui­site for this is that the pro­fes­sional cen­tre is at home and that the employee works there sev­eral times a month. If nec­es­sary, not only the desk, the swivel chair and the com­puter can be set down, also elec­tric­ity, water, heat­ing as well as the pro­por­tional rent.

Self-​organisation required

Before you even get started, the work­room should be tidied up and any dis­trac­tions removed or switched off. It is advis­able to set up a fixed work­place to avoid unnec­es­sary house­work on the one hand, and to switch the brain to work mode when look­ing at the desk on the other. An impor­tant fac­tor for effi­cient work in the home office is a suc­cess­ful start that begins with punc­tu­al­ity. For a cer­tain rou­tine as well as a clear tran­si­tion into work­ing hours or the evening after work, the deter­mi­na­tion of a fixed core work­ing time is essen­tial.

For struc­tured and trans­par­ent work, daily and weekly plans for goals or doc­u­men­ta­tion of progress achieved are rec­om­mended. On the one hand for the employer, who always wants to be informed about the career process. On the other hand for the employee, who can cre­ate effi­ciency by plan­ning goals and reflect­ing on results. How­ever, it is manda­tory that work­ing hours are also recorded in the home office with imme­di­ate effect fol­low­ing the ECJ rul­ing.

Pri­vacy and data pro­tec­tion

The safety at work must also be guar­an­teed in the home office. The employer must there­fore deter­mine which health and safety mea­sures are nec­es­sary and ini­ti­ate a risk assess­ment. In addi­tion, the employer must ensure com­pli­ance with data pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tions, pro­tec­tion of com­pany secrets and IT secu­rity. For this pur­pose, the use of IT sys­tems exclu­sively for busi­ness pur­poses, which must also be pro­tected against access by third par­ties, can be ordered. Tech­ni­cal mea­sures such as the encryp­tion of data or the use of a vir­tual pri­vate net­work are often used for the data secu­rity of data trans­fer.

Equipped as in the office

A fast Inter­net con­nec­tion is essen­tial for the time being. Because effec­tive research work, con­tin­u­ous avail­abil­ity for col­leagues as well as upload and down­load of files can­not be imple­mented with­out the Inter­net. In addi­tion, the employee work­ing in the home office needs the same tech­ni­cal equip­ment and the same tech­ni­cal IT sup­port as the col­leagues in the office. This can be under­stood as the pro­vi­sion by the employer of any hard­ware such as lap­top or head­set, but also the enabling of con­stant avail­abil­ity. Soft­ware solu­tions such as Microsoft Out­look, which not only cov­ers e-​mail but also the elec­tronic team cal­en­dar, or Microsoft Teams, which enables voice com­mu­ni­ca­tion in real time via VoIP, are suit­able for the lat­ter.

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