The pros and cons of working in a home office

The number of home offices skyrocketed during the lockdown. The emergency solution, which left many people working at the kitchen table or in improvised offices, actually turned out to be quite convincing despite the difficult circumstances. More and more companies and employees want to keep the home office option, at least as an alternative work solution. Both sides see the advantages, but there could also be disadvantages under certain circumstances. Here are the tips from Engel & Völkers.

Hamburg - Home office for everyone - E&V shows the pros and cons

The workplace

At the company you have an ergonomic workplace with office chair and desk. This is also the best possible option if you are setting up your home office in a separate room. A height-adjustable desk or table allows you to work in a standing position, which relieves your back, neck and shoulders. If you are setting up your office in the hallway or living room, make the most of the space and be flexible. Ensure high quality seating that takes up little space. When working in a standing position, place something under the laptop or keyboard to raise it up. If you cannot adjust the angle of the screen and have to look down, it's worth investing in a mount with more adjustment options.

Beware of security gaps

Ideally, use two computers to separate work-related data from personal content. Of course, these should not be connected to each other. If this is unavoidable, ask your employer about security precautions. This includes antivirus programmes and encryption technologies. Pay particular attention to the security settings on your home WiFi router. You will need to configure it yourself without the help of the IT department. However, this will make you vulnerable to hackers. Here, it is the responsibility of the operator to ensure secure transmission. Refer to the installation instructions of the device or ask an expert for advice.

If dad and mom are at home

Initially, the changeover to home office was chaotic for many people. Although the workstation was installed, at least in a makeshift way, home schooling and new technology such as video conferencing required all attention. With increasing normality, a kind of order slowly returns. Use this phase to define rules for your permanent home office. Rules that everybody abides by!

Why do we need rules?

Especially children but also partners need to adapt to the changed situation. Having clearly defined rules makes this a lot easier. You can arrange your working hours according to new criteria that meet the requirements of you and your family. Spontaneous deviations can be planned. Everyone can adjust accordingly. This avoids countless arguments, for example about the working day extending long into the evening again and who will do what when. You can plan in enough time for each other. And that is one of the biggest advantages of the home office! Here are a few suggestions on this topic.

What are the other advantages of a home office and what could be missing?

Advantages for companies and employers include focused work and time and cost savings, for example when it comes to business travel. On the other hand, many people do not want to do without any personal contact to customers and colleagues. They miss the synergy and the interchange and spontaneous interaction. This, however, no longer needs to take place on a daily basis.

There are also advantages for the environment. The fact that people no longer have to travel to work and the elimination of countless business trips puts airlines and other transport companies under pressure, but saves CO2 emissions.

Some see a risk to the data sovereignty of companies because the security settings are now more difficult to control. This is true, but only if those responsible fail to take the appropriate measures. So, it’s really up to you what you make of it!

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