At least since the corona crisis, it has been clear: thanks to digitization, many jobs can be done from home and in an office. But what is hidden behind the terms home office, telework, remote work, and Co.? And what are the respective advantages and disadvantages of mobile working for employees and employers? We will explain that to you in this article and show you how you can find remote jobs and work from your home office.
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Definition: Home Office
The term home office comes from English. “Home” means at home, and “office” means office – put together, the office at home. The terms home office, remote work, or telework mean working in places outside of a classic office. This place does not necessarily have to be your home, and you could also, e.g., e.g.:
- in a cafe
- a co-working space
- a holiday apartment
Or anywhere else in the world that has WiFi and electricity.
Because of the job flexibility that telecommuting offers, many workers imagine the term as a kind of digital nomadism, where they work from Bali while lying in a hammock on the beach. Because you can work anywhere in the world away from the office in a mobile job, but in practice, it only works sometimes. We’ll explain why later. You can do a job in the home office full-time or part-time, and jobs with flexible working hours, such as trust-based working hours, also occur in teleworking.
As mentioned earlier, telework has many synonyms, for example:
- home office
- remote work
- working remotely
- Flexible working
- Location-independent work
- Mobile working
- Virtual work
- I work
However, these terms cannot all be interchanged 1:1. Here, the term flexible working decides from the others, and you can see the differences between the two terms here:
HOME OFFICE/REMOTE WORK ETC.
- The work takes place full-time at a location outside of the office.
- Although you work outside the office, you may need to go to the office from time to time, e.g., B. to training. But this is the exception.
- The work location is flexible and can be divided between an office and the home office by the employer
- The work does not necessarily have to take place in the home office, and you can also spend most of the time in offices
- This term usually includes not only working at different locations but also flexible working hours
Telework: Trends And Development
Teleworking is very much in vogue. The home office also arrived at the latest with the corona crisis. Before that, mobile working was a rarity here. In an international comparison, the country lagged far behind. The following graphic illustrates the influence of Corona on the home office.
Only Some Jobs Can Be Done From The Home Office.
Of course, the trend towards teleworking is also closely related to digitalization. Powerful laptops, video conferencing, and cloud-based folders mean that many tasks that previously could only be done at a fixed desk can now be done at home (or anywhere else with an internet connection).
But that also means that only some jobs can be practiced on the move. And that’s not going to change anytime soon, even with the trend towards teleworking.
Pros And Cons Of Teleworking
For many, teleworking is a dream come true. Others can’t imagine anything worse. So that you can present the advantages and disadvantages of working from home in detail, we have listed them here for you.
The advantages of mobile work are apparent:
- The daily commute is gone
- You save the cost of tickets, lunch, etc.
- You can set up your working hours more flexibly
- You can do private things during your breaks
- you may be able to work more concentrated
We will now go into more detail about the unique advantages.
This is the most significant advantage of teleworking – apart from being able to work in your pajamas. Because your commute to work is eliminated, all you have to do now is commute from bed to study.
You save time in not only the home office but also money. It doesn’t matter whether you commute by public transport or your car – it costs money. And you save that in the home office since you will no longer commute to work. You also save on the costs of lunch in the canteen, coffee-to-go and the like, since you can cook for yourself at home and make your coffee. You can also use telecommuting to eat healthier.
Are you quickly distracted by colleagues and background noise in the office? This is also different in home offices, which is why many can concentrate better at home. You can manage your noise level yourself, you will be less disturbed by colleagues, and you can focus better on your tasks—the result: productivity increases in the home office. Several studies and surveys also confirm this.
Of course, the home office is unsuitable for simultaneously looking after children. But if you already have a family, then the more flexible working hours that telecommuting brings are a boon. With the newly gained flexibility, you can react much better to spontaneous situations such as a closed daycare center and have more opportunities to do tasks such as shopping during breaks. As a result, you have more time for your family and can react flexibly.
So much, so good, but a mobile office has not only advantages but also disadvantages. Here, we have listed the most significant disadvantages of a mobile workplace.
Time Management And Productivity
You save a lot of time in the home office, but overall, saving time is only worthwhile if you can manage your time well. Because in the home office you have to organize your working hours yourself, there is no control by management or colleagues. Working from home can lead to lower productivity if you tend to be easily distracted or procrastinate.
Lack Of Separation Between Working Time And Free Time
At work, you can easily distinguish between working time and free time: you arrive, turn on your computer, work, turn off the computer and go home again. But at home, the boundaries quickly become blurred. Quickly checking emails at 8:00 p.m. during the TV evening or working through the lunch break because you’re sitting at your desk (which is your coffee table) happens quickly at home and leads to overtime.
Basel scientists calculated that employees working from home work an average of six hours a week more than people who are present. This means that you should also ensure that you work at most of your agreed weekly hours in your home office.
All by myself! What may be a blessing at first can quickly become a curse. Spending at least eight hours of work a day alone in the home office is simple, especially for extroverts. The result is that contact with the other employees gradually breaks down, making you feel lonely. To counteract this, you should ensure that you are in regular contact with your colleagues, e.g., B., via tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. You can also use your breaks to meet up with friends for a coffee, for example.
Which Jobs Are Particularly Suitable For Remote Work?
You may know if you can personally work remotely or not. However, whether you will ultimately do this in your professional life also depends on which profession you practice. Because there are professions that are ideal for the home office and others in which mobile working is practically impossible. As you can probably guess, professions in which you are primarily digital are perfect for the home office. Some of the careers in which you could work well from home include:
- software development
- online marketing
- graphic design
- project management
But teleworking is virtually impossible in jobs where you will primarily be in customer contact that can’t be done over the phone or where you have to work on physical machines. The professional fields that are only partially or not at all suitable for the home office include:
- retail trade
- mechanical engineering
- hardware development
As you can see, whether you can work remotely or not depends entirely on the devices and tools you use to do your work and whether you have contact with other people.