There are now many people who take advantage of the opportunity to work from home. In the home office, they decide when and how they want to work. The general, socially present image of the home office is characterised by young people who sit at home in relaxed clothing and do their work comfortably as well as flexibly, optimally harmonising their private and professional lives. Because that is what is associated with the home office: Flexibility, satisfaction and work-life balance (cf. Bellmann & Widuckel, 2017: p. 1). Those who work in a home office can take care of their private life on the side: Look after children, organise the household or take 1-2 hours in between for social contacts. The trip to the office is also no longer necessary. Due to this high degree of flexibility, the idea of a home office is becoming increasingly popular (cf. Balzter, 2017). Full-time, well-qualified workers in particular are increasingly expressing the desire for a home office. The reasons given for this are the desire for more temporal autonomy, as well as the compatibility of work and family. Single people want to be able to work from home just as often as couples or single parents. As a rule, home workers work longer hours, more unpaid overtime - and are more satisfied with their work. Especially in contrast to those who look for the opportunity to work from home but are not granted this for various reasons (cf. Brenke, 2016: p. 95). The following paper deals with the impact of home office on employee motivation in office jobs. The various forms of and requirements for the home office are examined, the current situation in Germany is considered and then the advantages and disadvantages of the home office are discussed in detail and the hypothesis "The possibility of working in a home office has a positive effect on the motivation of employees in Germany between the ages of 20 and 35" is either verified or falsified in a conclusion. The focus of this paper lies in the consideration of Generation Y, since it was from them that the impulse came to introduce the home office and to pay more attention to the possibilities when deciding on a career.
For reasons of better readability, the simultaneous use of masculine and feminine forms of language has been dispensed with. All references to persons nevertheless apply to both genders.
2 What is Homeoffice?
The morning commute to work can be very tiring and time-consuming due to long commutes, traffic jams and other incidents. Nowadays, the home office is a popular solution to avoid this. In addition to the debate on whether the home office has a positive or negative impact on work morale, some legal questions need to be answered first (cf. O.V., 2016). In this chapter, the definition of home office is clarified and the different forms and requirements are discussed.
"The home office is about working from home" (O.V., 2018), which can already be deduced from the terminology. Communication with the employer/client takes place via e-mails, telephone or company-internal short message services, for example. The home office is used by the self-employed or employees. The self-employed are not included in this work. Employees are provided with the necessary work materials by their employer (e.g. laptop) and can do all their work from home (cf. Brenke, 2016: p. 98). Payment can either be made on an hourly basis or as a lump sum. T argets are often defined, which the employee works towards by an agreed deadline. The division of work and the structure can be flexibly arranged according to the employee's wishes (cf. O.V., 2018).
2.2 Different Forms
There are various forms of home office, all of which can be adapted to the individual requirements of the employee and the job. Common in office jobs and at the same time the most widespread form is the so-called alternative teleworking. In teleworking, the employee's activity is geared towards working in his or her own home, i.e. there are no premises in the company itself (cf. O.V., 2016). In the form of alternative teleworking, the employee works alternately from home and in the office premises provided by the company. The workplace in the company can be shared with other colleagues who also work alternately from the home office. This enables the employer to save both space and costs in the company. It is important here that the working hours in the office are firmly agreed between the employees, as the shared workplace cannot be occupied at the same time. Another form is mobile teleworking, also called mobile working. Here, the work is carried out at constantly changing workplaces (for example, on the train, at the station, in a café, etc.). In most cases, only internet access is necessary to be able to work practically from anywhere (cf. O.V., 2018).
2.3 Homeoffice Requirements
If an employee works at home, the home office must also comply with the regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The focus here is on employee safety, which must be guaranteed, and data protection, i.e. the protection of important or confidential documents from being viewed by third parties. The home office must meet the employer's requirements, which are laid down in the employment contract. The aim is to provide the employee with a suitable workplace at home. This includes a height-adjustable ergonomic chair at a desk that is designed to prevent illnesses such as slipped discs or back pain, and a large computer screen that does not cause too much damage to the eyes. The desk should be parallel to the windows to ensure a balance between sufficient light from the sun for working and glare from the sun's rays. In order to ensure sufficient contact with the company, a core working time is set during which the employee must be reachable (cf. O.V., 2018).
3 Chancen und Risks
The home office still only partially enjoys a good reputation (cf. O.V., 2012). Due to the rapidly advancing digitalisation, operational structures are facing major changes. On the part of employees, there is an increasing demand for flexible working models and they are generally praised as a solution for reconciling work and family life. The impact of working from home on productivity is highly controversial, especially in Germany (cf. O.V., 2018). Figure 4 shows a survey of the desired benefits that are most important to employees when choosing an employer. The data was collected in Germany between March 2015 and March 2016. Multiple responses were possible. The statistics show that the desire for flexible working models and the possibility of working from a home office is particularly strong among employees.
In the following chapter, the opportunities and risks of the home office are examined from both the employer's and the employee's perspective.
3.1 Advantages for employees
One of the things most appreciated by employees is the high degree of autonomy that comes with working in a home office (cf. Weichbrodt, 2013). It is up to the employee to decide when to get up, when to start the working day, when and how long to take breaks, and when to call it a day. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is that the core working hours, during which the employee must be available, are adhered to. The given flexibility and autonomy makes it easier to keep private appointments in between. This makes it easier to do the weekly shopping, care for family members, visit the doctor or look after children (cf. O.V., 2018). Home office employees report better concentration when working from home, as they can move around comfortably in their apartment/house and remain undisturbed by colleagues. The daily commute to work is also saved and is a great relief, especially for commuters. The high degree of independence, autonomous work scheduling and the absence of work interruptions by colleagues were mentioned by home workers as having a positive effect on productivity and motivation (cf. Weichbrodt, 2013).
4.2 Advantages for corporate companies
Employees' rest at home, increased productivity and satisfaction also have a positive effect for employers. Attractive work arrangements help to retain workers better, which saves on the costs of staff turnover. If employees are regularly in the home office, the employer can save a lot on office space and catering in the office. In addition to rental costs, electricity, beverage costs and other costs for work utensils would also be eliminated (cf. O.V., 2018). Since employees can schedule their work more autonomously, it is possible for them to attend various important private appointments without having to call in sick. The possibility of a home office generally has a positive effect on sick leave (cf. O.V., 2018).
- Quote paper
- Duc Minh Vu (Author), 2017, Homeoffice and it's Impact on Employees and Companies. Advantages and Disadvantages, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1007874