The digital transformation and the resulting advances in communication and information technologies are expanding the possibilities for remote and flexible work. The Corona pandemic has meant that working outside the traditional workplace has become mainstream in society, and many companies have recently announced their intention to make greater use of remote forms of work in the long term.
Remote work refers to working from a location outside the workplace, for example working from home (not equal to telework in the legal sense), in a restaurant, on a train, in a hotel or in new types of workplaces. Being able to do one’s job regardless of location is made possible by the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to connect with the company or educational institution. Laptops, smartphones and tablets are primarily used for this purpose. The prerequisites for safety and health at work must also be ensured for mobile forms of work. This also extends and promotes the culture of prevention to mobile activities.
More flexible working hours has meant that professional and private lives are becoming increasingly overlapped. Mobile devices, such as smartphones, enable us to be constantly contacted, including work-related contact. Therefore, the healthy organisation of working time is an important topic for the German social accident insurance. The IAG Report 2/2019 ‘Organising working time in a safe and healthy way’ (German only) is a compilation of current findings and recommendations on this topic.
Working from home is a special form of remote work that enables employees to work in their private home environment. However, working from home is not the same as telework and the associated legal regulations. Nevertheless, a well-thought-out solution is needed as to how working from home can be made possible without compromising the concept of telework at the same time. In general, the German Occupational Safety and Health Act and the German Working Time Act apply to all forms of work, including working from home.
Dr Nina Gottselig
Safety and Health Department
New forms of prevention
Tel.: +49 30 13001-4507