Public service: Every third person who wants to work from home complains about their superiors

The public service in Germany – regardless of the corona pandemic – has some catching up to do when it comes to home office. This emerges from the results of a survey by the German trade union federation DGB among almost 1400 public service employees, which is available to the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

According to this, 30 percent of state employees would like to work from home, but only 22 percent already do so. According to the DGB survey, public administration must also improve when it comes to the support provided by employers and superiors. At 32 percent, almost a third of those surveyed stated that they received little (21 percent) or no support at all (11 percent) from their superiors in order to be able to work from home.

The respondents also stated that the use of private work equipment in the home office is more the rule than the exception: More than half (51 percent) only use private work equipment.

From the point of view of the employees, the greater scope for design speaks in favor of working in the home office. 82 percent of those surveyed who work in the home office stated that they were able to plan their own work to a (very) high degree. For comparison: a high or very high influence on the planning of their own work in the public service is indicated by a total of only 68 percent.

Many employees in the home office cannot switch off properly in the evening

According to the survey, health protection is also a problem. 62 percent of those working from home stated that they often cannot switch off during their non-working hours. In addition, employees who work from home report more frequently shortening or skipping breaks. 34 percent state that they very often or often fall short of a rest period of eleven hours until the next working day.

“Many public service employees would like more opportunities to work from home – that was already the case before Corona,” said DGB Vice Chairman Elke Hannack of the RND. “But you definitely don’t want a“ wild home office ”, precisely so that the boundaries between work and private life don’t blur any further.

Good working conditions must also apply to work from home, ”continues Hannack. “The employees urgently need good technical equipment, such as a laptop and work cell phone,” demanded the union.

Clear legal rules are also important: “In addition to the right to work from home, there is a need for better participation rights for the staff councils. You must be able to make service agreements with the public employers on an equal footing, for example on unavailability and health protection, ”said Elke Hannack.

Between January and May 2020, the DGB had almost 1,400 public sector employees surveyed, three quarters of whom were salaried employees and a quarter of them civil servants. Only those employees were considered who had been working from home at the time of the survey not only because of the Corona crisis, but also in the period before. As a result, the improvised emergency solution during the corona pandemic should not be mapped, but the home office in “regular operation”.

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by

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