More and more companies are currently deciding to allow their employees to work as freely and flexibly as possible, even after the COVID-19 pandemic, as has (involuntarily) become the norm for many of them since spring of 2020.
However, the future freedoms of the workforce must not, or should not, be limitless. Rather, they must end where the interests of the company, the interests of other employees or the interests of customers conflict. In addition, there are a number of mandatory legal regulations that exclude certain freedoms from the outset.
For this reason, companies should pay very close attention when (permanently) implementing "mobile working" to ensure that well-intentioned plans do not suddenly boomerang. As a result, there should be clear and legally binding rules for "mobile working".
In this respect, the following keywords give you an overview of the most important topics and aspects that need to be taken into account:
I. Transition to a flexible place of work
In practice, particular attention should be paid to the subtleties. Such are:
"Mobile working" is only a reorganization of the place of work, but not a flexibilization of working hours that automatically accompanies it
"Mobile working" is not to be confused with pure "home office" activity
The freedoms and restrictions in the choice of place of work must be specified (e.g. restriction of mobile work to the Federal Republic of Germany to avoid legal uncertainty)
any exceptions of certain activities from "mobile working" (e.g. due to contractual requirements by customers) are to be determined
Data protection & IT security
Protection of company and business secrets
Occupational safety / occupational accidents
Costs (e.g. for hardware)
Reservation of the right to revoke the authorization for "mobile working”
II. Transition to flexible working hours
Transition to a flexible place of work ≠ Transition to flexible working hours
Is a new working time model also desired?
Strict compliance with the Working Hours Act
Furthermore, the following should be taken into account:
Identification of any side effects/risks (e.g. "dilution of the concept of operation")
Safeguarding the participation rights of the works council
Selection of a suitable and legally secure form of implementation (individual agreement, directive, works agreement, etc.)
IV. What else needs to be considered
The introduction of mobile working entails an enormous number of individual questions like hardly any other topic in connection with New Work. In order to avoid potential pitfalls here, individual and case-by-case consulting is recommended.