Home Business Working from home: Joy or misfortune?

Working from home: Joy or misfortune?

by ona
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Working from home is slowly establishing itself in our labor market as one of the very interesting and popular employee benefits. In professions that allow this, 33% of employees use this option, many others would welcome this benefit.

This year, however, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs began preparing amendments to the Labor Code, which could change the situation and thus affect the willingness of employers to offer the so-called „home office“ to their employees.


On the one hand, working from home has many advantages – it saves time spent traveling to and from the workplace and also gives you the opportunity to organize your working day according to your needs – for example, during a break between phone calls, you can go to the pharmacy, have laundry done, or bring your child from kindergarten and then continue working.

For professions where employees are not bound to constant direct cooperation with colleagues, or work in an international company where they negotiate with people in different time zones, this offers really great flexibility and simplification of life. In the morning you have a meeting with colleagues in Asia, change into sweatpants and go for a run, have lunch and after such a break continue in the afternoon until the evening with colleagues from the USA, and when you finally finish, maybe even late in the evening, he is not waiting for you still a long way home – you are already there.


Like any good thing, a home office can also have a dark side – some employers may expect that a person working from home is available practically 24 hours a day and, for example, can be contacted outside normal working hours. From practice, it does not seem to be happening on a scale that would be worth mentioning, but the Czech-Moravian Organization of Trade Unions is worried about it, as is Minister Marksová.

The representative of the trade union even rather surprisingly suggests that this increasingly desirable benefit should only be provided in exceptional cases. The question is, however, whether a company that makes such disproportionate demands on its employees will not behave in the same way, even if they do not work from home.


Further amendments in the Labor Code are intended to ensure that the employer provides the employee with equipment for working from home, such as a computer, internet, telephone, and there is also talk of compensation for operating costs (which could mean, for example, energy and heating costs). It should ensure mandatory training and ensure work safety conditions.

Furthermore, companies should ensure that the employee does not suffer from isolation and regularly meets with colleagues. The question is how to proceed if the person in question does not have any direct colleagues in a specific location (typically with international teams) or does not feel the need for personal contact. In the era of teleconferences, it is relatively easy to ensure a voice and video connection, and you can calmly deal with colleagues face to face whenever necessary.


Employers and employment agencies are primarily concerned about possible excessive bureaucratic burden. If the law binds work from home too legislatively and supplements it with a system of reports or controls (for example, the above-mentioned obligation to monitor how often the employee meets with colleagues), companies will understandably not be so motivated to provide this benefit.

At the moment, a home office costs basically nothing, and it can even help save money on renting larger offices. If the situation changes and the costs of working from home increase, it is clear that the simplest solution for companies may be simply not to offer work from home.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs states in the proposed changes that it wants to motivate companies not to be afraid to use modern forms of work. Whether this is really so, we will see according to the final form of the amendment to the Labor Code and its real impact.

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