WORK-Ways in Germany: Homeoffice, Heimarbeit, Telearbeit…
Various terms circulate for the actual “working from home”. Legally, however, there can be crucial differences between home office, telework and working from home.
Home office has been the norm for many people during the pandemic. People often speak synonymously of “working from home”, “teleworking” or “mobile working” when they are talking about working from home. However, when it comes to written agreements with the employer or even a legal right to home office, the correct term is crucial. Because legally there are sometimes major differences.There is (still) no binding definition for home office, as is the case with teleworking or working from home. The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA) described the term in a study as follows: “Exercise of activity from home that can take place on a permanent or alternating basis”.
“Mobil Arbeit” or in English Mobile work simply means that the employee is working outside the company. Classically, this meant employees in field service or people with a basically mobile workplace, for example truck drivers or train drivers. However, the term “mobile work” is now also often used for flexible home offices. Mobile work generally presupposes the use of information technology.
If you are living in Germany, you have of course already heard of “Heimarbeit” as “Homeworking”. This form of work activity is regulated by a separate German law. Home workers are gainfully employed at a workplace of their own choice on behalf of a company. Traditionally, they usually perform simple tasks, such as sewing napkins or assembling ballpoint pens. In the meantime, however, programmers may also be considered home workers.