Comment: Beware of permanent home office!

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Home office

It is questionable whether working conditions at home can actually be checked.

(Photo: Imago)

The good experience with the home office gives companies new ideas. What if the employees didn’t come back to the offices at all? For Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg it is already clear: he could attract employees who do not want to live at the company headquarters and pay them less money if they lived in cities with lower rents. He can imagine that in ten years half of his employees will live and work across the world.

A delightful mind game. Because the benefits are also obvious for employees. Those who no longer have to commute gain lifetime. In the case of job offers, couples would have to choose the career of one or the other partner less frequently. Grandparents could take care of their grandchildren if the parents didn’t have to move to another city with them. All of this also relieves the burden on the environment, and everyone benefits.

The list of advantages could go on for a long time. That is why other companies and employees are flirting with the end of the office age. But be careful, mass home offices would also have disadvantages for people and society. Companies don’t just offer money for labor. They also offer people a job. This does not only mean a desk chair and mobile container. Rather, a job is also the center of life and a social community.

Whether gatekeeper or chief financial officer, young professional or part-time employee, technician or salesperson: every encounter in the elevator and canteen reminds everyone that together they keep their company up and running, dependent on one another and responsible for one another. Nowhere else is it so clear why individuals need society, why paying taxes is important and childcare is everyone’s business. In the end, real encounters in the workplace also protect society from erosion.

It makes a big difference whether a community of colleagues temporarily moves to the home office and should return to the common place of work or whether the employees have already been recruited locally. This should be taken into account in the current home office euphoria.

In the short term, the benefits may outweigh. But in the long run? Who would still be involved in the works council if they only knew colleagues from video conferences? Can working conditions at home actually be checked? Could employers possibly avoid social responsibility? Home office forever is an interesting idea. But it requires careful consideration and even more experience. It could have fatal consequences for everyone.

More: Zuckerberg: In ten years, every second Facebook employee will not go to the office.

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