Germany Announces Mandatory Work from Home Legislation
Germany’s Labor Ministry announced its new year legislation plans to make the option to work from home mandatory. The initiative will force German employers to either allow their employees to work from home or explain why it is not possible.
A study by the Federal Ministry of Labor suggests that 40 percent of Germans would like to work from home at least occasionally. However, only 12 percent of employees in Germany are currently able to do so (Federal Statistical Office). This move will enable employees to organise their work schedule, balance family life, and experience reduced stress.
We live in times when the boundaries between work and home are disappearing. An ‘always on’ culture propelled by smartphones has made matters worse. Employers expect employees to act on emails and work pressure in real time. But they do not generally reciprocate the same when the employees need the flexibility to accommodate their family commitments or prioritise their mental health.
According to an interview with Der Spiegel, the Ministry Secretary Björn Böhning said “Digitalization is changing power relations. We must ensure that workers benefit from those changes.” The benefits of working from home are not just limited to employees. While it may seem unlikely, working from home policies and SmartWorking have many benefits for businesses too. For example, it reduces the company’s carbon footprint, decreases expenditure, and solves the problem of declining skilled labour.
SmartWorking & Work from Home Laws Across the World
Germany is not the first country in the EU to introduce this. The Netherlands already offer more freedom in respect of working hours and working from home. The Dutch Senate accepted the Flexible Working Act back in 2015.
We at Abodoo welcome this shift in mindset and changing laws. We hope that all EU countries will follow suit. It’s important to realise the benefits of SmartWorking, including remote working, flexible hours, and hybrid models.
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