How much does that even help?


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from: Alexander Eser-Ruperti

During an energy crisis, a home office should also help save energy. But does it really do, and does it put more of a burden on workers?

Berlin – Germany’s energy crisis has economy ministers Robert Habek (Green) to follow some energy saving rules. There was even one in the league recently Civil Servants Home Office Duty was discussed in the ministries, but not implemented due to logistical problems – a unilateral commitment, but usually not only dubious from a labor law point of view. The big questions in the debate about energy conservation and working from home are about workers on the one hand and energy conservation on the other: how much does working from home really save when it comes to energy – and are workers exposed as a result? more burden? Working from home can threaten the rights of the worker.

Saving energy in the office: How much can you really save by working from home?

In the midst of calls to save energy in the office, two questions arise regarding the choice of a home office: how much does working from home save – and who pays for the extra energy costs at home? In fact, experts doubt that moving work to the home will result in significant savings when it comes to actual heating. Rudolf Friedrich of the Saarbruecken University of Technology and Science, taking into account the space heating demand compared to ARD Tagesschau from the “zero sum game”. In conclusion, it can be said that the lack of office heating does not necessarily lead to a general decrease in demand – because, for example, many apartments in old buildings have not been renovated.

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Home office: How much does it really save energy? © Sina Schuldt/dpa

But on another level, the expert sees the obvious savings potential of working from home, namely commuting. Friedrich calculated: 20 million Deutschland commutes 18 kilometers to work on average. The expert explained ARD, approximately 67 percent use a car. Assuming 25 percent of them worked from home one day a week, this would save 200 million liters of fuel every year. This would equate to 540,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Given the importance of commuter traffic, Debate on accessible public transport the more virulent.

How you can save energy: working from home requires an agreement with employees

However, the question of how to save energy in the office also clearly depends on the crucial aspect of labor law. One aspect is that Working at home should meet the interests of both parties. This is especially true because working from home increases energy consumption in private homes significantly, which involves significant additional costs. A Save energy then it would be recorded only on the employer’s side. Although the home office flat rate has recently been increased – need to increase further – however, costs would remain for workers at current prices.

Saarbruecken employment lawyer Marwin Roth explained ARD: “This means that if an employer wants to oblige work from home in order to save energy, it can only be done with the consent of the employees. An employer cannot independently implement a home office, nor is it enforceable under labor law.” Conversely, this does not mean that certain employers cannot still try – not only are they not morally right, but they are just as legally wrong. Employers, on the other hand, are clearly allowed to do so home office offerthat’s how Otto does it.

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There is no obligation in the home office, in general, special attention should be paid when it comes to employee rights

But it’s important to know more than just that such unilateral duties should not exist in the home office: working from home carries all sorts of other risks for employees, and employers can use it to violate workers’ rights. A particularly striking case in this context recently occurred in the Netherlands, where a US software studio demanded that its Dutch employee leave his webcam on – all day. The court agreed with the man: it was a violation of privacy.

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On the other hand, anti-worker conditions such as unpaid…

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