Home office - questions & answers

What is a home office?

Home office means working from home. In the past, working from home was mostly women’s business. That a man takes his office work home with him was completely strange and unthinkable a few years ago. In the meantime, more and more companies are offering to move part of their work or even their entire working day home, especially now during the pandemic. However, this only works if the employer and employee coordinate with each other beforehand and certain rules regarding working hours and availability are adhered to. This can be included in the employment contract.

How does the home office work?

Unfortunately, the home office does not work in all cases. However, there are jobs that are made for work at home, on the part of the employer and employee. In order for the home office to work properly for everyone involved, however, there are a few things to consider. First of all, the employment contract should be checked to determine who is liable in the event of an insurance claim.

An accident at the workplace or generally during work must be defined accordingly. An employer must also convey exactly what work the employee has to do in the home office and thus make his expectations of the employees clear. This can range from availability, the quantity and quality of the work to certain deadlines and teamwork among each other. Of course, a connection must be guaranteed for this, whether via the Internet or telephone. The focus here is particularly on data protection.

Employees should also be able to receive confidential documents in their home office and then edit them. In order to create the same conditions as in the office, the home office must also have the same level of performance in terms of the network. Uniform hardware and software should therefore be made available, which is usually taken over by the employer. Both sides should also be aware that the home office does not mean being available 24 hours a day and that free time should be taken into account.

Who pays for the home office?

When the first working conditions in the home office have been completed, the question of salary must also be clarified. Because working from home is part of working hours and is paid for with the salary. The furnishing and part of the equipment of the workplace at home is usually done by the employee, but the employer provides a computer and a telephone.

In many cases, this investment is worthwhile for the employer. When furnishing the office, it makes sense to make room for movement out of offices and to consider buying some active seating furniture that enables relaxed and healthy sitting. These investments can usually be deducted from tax.