Four out of ten permanent employees in Germany (41 %) are allowed to work in the home office, but most thankfully refuse: If employees are free to decide where they work, a clear majority will choose the office. 62 percent of permanent employees with a home office permit do not use it, while 38 percent prefer to work in their own four walls or on the move.
This is the result of a representative survey of 1,002 working people in Germany between 16 and 65 years old on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. “Many workers now have a choice of where they work. Contrary to what you might think, most permanent employees prefer the office to their own home – for very different reasons, ”said Bitkom President Achim Berg.
Home office Germany
Most of them want social contact, some fear a career decline
Those who are allowed to work in the home office but still prefer to go to the office mainly cite social reasons. 59 percent say it is important to them to work in a team. 56 percent say that direct personal exchange in the office is important to them. Working habits also play a role for many. 52 percent state that their way of working requires a personal presence. One in five (20 percent) says that their work cannot be done in the home office and one in seven (15 percent) thinks that they cannot work productively at home. Some also think of presumed career opportunities when choosing a place of work. 29 percent prefer to go to the office to be present in the company. And 11 percent say they have concerns that a lack of presence could have a negative impact on the assessment by superiors and could be disadvantageous during a salary negotiation, for example. “Digital technologies make it possible to work regardless of time and place. But flexible working requires clear rules – trust is required on the part of the employer, and a high degree of self-discipline on the part of the employee, ”says Berg.
The majority expect an increasing share of home offices in Germany
However, despite all the reluctance, the majority of all employed people are convinced that working from anywhere will become increasingly prevalent. 53 percent expect the proportion of employees who work in companies in whole or in part from their home office to increase in the next five years. 41 percent expect the share to remain constant. However, nobody expects the trend towards the home office to reverse and the proportion to decline again.
Almost every second worker demands a legal right to a home office
Working away from the workplace has not yet been specifically regulated by law. Many workers are encouraged to have the right to a home office. 45 percent want a legal claim to this. “This is a high level of approval, especially since home office is by no means possible in all professions, such as for nursing staff, teaching staff or employees in retail,” says Berg. Regardless of the place of work, the following applies: The employer must always meet the legal protection requirements for the safety and health of his employees.
The provisions of the Working Hours Act must also be observed, for example with regard to maximum working hours and rest periods. Anyone who works flexibly in terms of location and time quickly violates rigid requirements such as the eight-hour working day and the eleven-hour minimum rest period. Mountain: “Labor law lags behind technological and cultural developments in many areas and is simply no longer up to date. We have to adapt these antiquated laws as quickly as possible to the digital age and give employees more flexibility in their work arrangements, for example with a maximum weekly working time instead of the eight-hour day. ”