The corona crisis has shown that working at home is also good and satisfactory. A number of companies that did not want to know anything about it before were converted to the home office during the lockdown. Yesterday, BLICK reported on the breakthrough for home office. Every second company wants to enable home offices in the future. Employers not only meet the needs of employees, but also promise cost advantages – well beyond the crisis.
Some employees are now worried about their chances of advancement if they often work at home instead of in the office. Is the concern justified?
The fact is: With the home office there is no spontaneous exchange at the coffee machine. Likewise, networking at lunchtime or after-work beer. However, employers see no reason to argue against extending home office working hours. If the personal exchange in the office ceases to exist, the employees in the home office would have to actively contact their superiors and colleagues, says Daniella Lutzelschwab (52), executive board member of the employers’ association. “This means that the lack of presence in the office is no longer seen as a disadvantage.” Accordingly, the employees stayed present and could continue to recommend themselves for a responsible position.
Mini pens, not home offices, are problematic for women
The employers’ association has been heavily involved in getting more women into management positions in recent years. Isn’t there a danger that the home office will undermine progress, especially in equality? “Not home offices, but mini-pensions are possible career killers, especially for mothers,” emphasizes Lutzelschwab.
Werner Raschle (55) does not find any home office disadvantages for his career. The head of the consultancy and consultant for consultants and peppers has just promoted three employees in his company during the Corona home office. He is convinced that performance counts in good companies, not presence. Raschle: “No employer will prefer a mediocre but present employee to a good employee in the home office with convincing performance.” And if he does it anyway, then the question arises of his ability to manage and judge.
However, he admits that it is more demanding to assess the social skills of non-present employees. But it is learnable and will take over in the next few years, maybe even months.
Project of a photographer: Home office is impossible in these professions(01:09)
Home office does not work with control culture
In fact, home office employees often worried about their visibility among the bosses, says home office expert Alexandra Kuhn (39), head of the Work Smart Initiative, which specializes in flexible work. The staff said they had to be there otherwise they would miss something. “The more the employer is forced to be in the office, the more employees feel that they have to be present,” she observes. This often has to do with a culture of control and distrust.
Trust is good, but control is better. This understanding of leadership is very widespread, especially in the financial sector, according to specialist agent Raschle. “There, a comprehensive control system was meticulously built up over the years, which replaced trust over long distances,” he adds.
He now demands that the company bosses rethink, especially now when expanding the home office. A culture of trust is needed. To do this, managers would have to give up power and promote personal responsibility and autonomy among their employees. And not only in the Corona crisis, but also beyond.
Out of sight, out of mind? The personal exchange in the office is no longer necessary. But with a few tricks you can ensure that you will still be remembered by your superiors. It sounds banal, but active contact is appreciated by everyone. From the boss and from the others in the team. Not only by SMS, but also by phone or video. Send an update if a task takes longer. And be reachable when the phone rings or the chat bell rings. Dress appropriately for video conferencing and be on time. Show that you have mastered the technology. This includes the right equipment, i.e. camera, headphones, microphone. Ultimately, however, you have to convince with your work. The rule here is: sometimes go the famous extra mile.