Munich (dpa) – According to a survey, companies in Germany view the home office much less positively than many employees. Consequently, only a small minority of 5.7 percent of companies noticed an increase in productivity when working on the go.
In contrast, 30.4 percent of companies reported no change and 27 percent even decreased the productivity of their workforce. The head office is not relevant to the other surveyed companies. This is often the case, for example, in the construction or services sector. The Ifo Institute in Munich surveyed 1,097 companies on behalf of the Family Business Foundation in October.
The question of whether working at headquarters increases productivity is a political bone of contention. In the summer, after surveying 7,000 employees, the DAK health insurance company announced that the majority of 56 percent consider themselves more productive in the home office. The DAK study serves the SPD as a protective aid for its claim for a legal right to work from home. There are also studies and surveys on the subject from other countries, with contradictory results.
A compromise proposal from the federal Labor Minister, Hubertus Heil (SPD), does not seem to boost the debate on a possible right to work from home. Federal Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) quickly rejected Heil’s new offer. Heil had told the Germany publishing network (RND / Saturday): “Since the Union has obviously not yet come to this question in 2020, I am ready to postpone the central office claim 24 days a year.”
Altmaier responded in the “Bild am Sonntag”, staying in his previous position: “I am not sympathetic to legal claims that only benefit a few employees.” In the days of Corona, companies should set up as many home offices “as possible, and that’s what they do,” Altmaier said. But this is an exceptional situation. “The legislature shouldn’t make everything binding on regulations.”
In early October, Heil had proposed a legal right to work from home, which, among other things, stipulated that employees could work mobile or in the home office 24 days a year for a 5-day week. Business associations and the Union reject it. At the end of October, the working group for the future of the parliamentary group of the Union presented a counter-project.
In concrete terms, Heil now wants employees to have the right to speak to their employer about working from home. “The employer must not simply erase the application from the table, but must give a good reason why mobile work is not possible for operational reasons.” With this change he is reaching “far into the Union,” Heil said. «If it is of good will, we can quickly make a law. I want that to happen this year. Because that ultimately creates legal security for employers and employees. “
Like Altmaier, the president of the CDU / CSU SME Association, Carsten Linnemann, did not deviate from his position on Saturday. “Many medium-sized companies are currently struggling to survive, and the new editions are the last thing they can use,” he told the German press agency. One set screw is possibly the Temporary Employment Act, which, from Linnemann’s point of view, is out of time. “Here the Minister of Labor, Hubertus Heil, could really do a good thing for employees and medium-sized companies by not blocking the modernization of working hours within the framework of European requirements.”