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Old 07.02.2020, 09:53
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Employed but required to work from home

Despite searching, I have been unable to establish the rules and regulations for home based employment. I can find regulations regarding working hours and breaks, but I am wondering if there are any guidelines as to what should be provided in terms of equipment and whether anything should be paid for by the employer.

There are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum and I am hoping one of them might be able to point me in the right direction. Many thanks in advance.
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Old 07.02.2020, 10:17
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

Probably also depends on what is written in your contract and/or the guidelines.


Ours say that we can work x days a year from home but that there is no compensation for electricity, wireless etc
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Old 07.02.2020, 10:44
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

It's a rather unusual situation. Nothing is written in the contract with regards to the job being home based as things have developed over the years.

I am wondering what the guidelines might be in Switzerland (if indeed any exist) with regards to the equipment required to do an effective job.
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Old 07.02.2020, 11:25
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

I'm pretty sure the employer is obliged to supply you with the tools necessary for you to do your job. If you're required to work from home, I would expect that would apply at home too, and as much of computer, printer and cartridges, router, contribution to internet subscription, pens, paper etc.
If this is something that is required of you by the employer and has grown over time, I would suggest getting down in writing and agreed and signed by both parties.
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Old 07.02.2020, 11:26
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

This SECO brochure "Arbeiten zu Hause - Homeoffice" briefly discusses the topic of equipment, material and compensation on p. 13 (German):

https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/de/ho...omeoffice.html
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Old 07.02.2020, 11:46
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

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This SECO brochure "Arbeiten zu Hause - Homeoffice" briefly discusses the topic of equipment, material and compensation on p. 13 (German):

https://www.seco.admin.ch/seco/de/ho...omeoffice.html
Thank you so much. Exactly what I was looking for. As I said there are some very knowledgeable people on here!
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Old 07.02.2020, 12:21
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

Does your employer explicitly state you are required to work from home? If not, make sure you have that written somewhere.

OH's company 'strongly encourages' employees to work from home one day per week.

Thus no compensation for equipment, utility costs, etc.

A cost-savings measure masquerading as family-friendly and/or green.
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Old 07.02.2020, 12:24
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

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OH's company 'strongly encourages' employees to work from home one day per week.

Thus no compensation for equipment, utility costs, etc.

A cost-savings measure masquerading as family-friendly and/or green.

Still, I´d love to have that. We now can - graciously approved by management - work ONE day per month from home.......
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Old 07.02.2020, 12:37
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

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Does your employer explicitly state you are required to work from home? If not, make sure you have that written somewhere.

OH's company 'strongly encourages' employees to work from home one day per week.

Thus no compensation for equipment, utility costs, etc.

A cost-savings measure masquerading as family-friendly and/or green.
In the time-honoured way, it is not actually me I am asking for! It's a bit complicated ... the job has changed over the years and it's sort of evolved that the only base is home. I also wonder whether we should be doing anything to secure company information etc.

We just wanted to gather some information, there is no conflict, but there is an element of cost-saving etc on the employer's part and an intrusive requirement to demonstrate that we are environmentally friendly, so you were spot on there.

In regards to home working in general, it may be more pleasant for the employee, but I now find myself to be a glorified tea girl in my own home!
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Old 07.02.2020, 12:48
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

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Still, I´d love to have that. We now can - graciously approved by management - work ONE day per month from home.......
OH gets my fresh baked scones and decent coffee for breakfast, instead of the bleary-eyed before dawn commute. So I guess that's a plus. And a win for his employer given the 20% savings on office space, equipment, utilities that the one-day-at-home initiative represents.

For the rest of the family, on the other hand...

OH working at home means either I have to give up my own work on those days or it costs me an absolute fortune, as I have to then pay a sitter in order to ensure a work-appropriate environment in our home. Family-friendly policy my eye.

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In regards to home working in general, it may be more pleasant for the employee, but I now find myself to be a glorified tea girl in my own home!
I feel your pain.
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Old 07.02.2020, 13:28
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

I am based at home with my employment. Nearly everyone working for the company is. There is no special allowance - everything is rolled into our salaries.

A condition of employment is that we have a room that is suitable to use as an office - no working on the dining room table!

We are supplied with a laptop and mobile phone. I'm fairly sure if we needed a printer we'd get one. Also a docking station, external keyboard, mouse and monitor, and scanner.

We're obliged to keep any confidential information locked away. 5% of us are selected each year for an audit of our home working conditions - mainly this is so our customers know that we're working securely.

Other than that, we're expected to abide by labour laws, and left to get on with it.
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Old 07.02.2020, 13:30
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

My husband is entitled to work 80% of his time from home, although it rarely happens due to the nature of the IT project he is working on. He can be 3 days from home one week, then have 3 weeks where he needs to be at his office every day.

We have a large spare bedroom that we have set up as a studio room with desks and a sofabed, so it's partly for work and partly for when visitors come to stay (we had the same set up when we ran a company from our home back in Scotland for years).

His employers provide him with 2 laptops and he has a headset for participating in meetings. However, the stuff he is supplied with is not that up to date and most of the team including himself buy their own IT equipment as necessary then include it on their tax returns every year, they also have their own stuff in the office.
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Old 07.02.2020, 13:49
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

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... make sure you have that written somewhere...
Yes, this is very good advice! One way to get closer to formalising a situation that has gradually developed is to draw up a list of [current and potential] advantages and disadvantages to both parties, of the two positions (always work in the office, vs. always work at home). That may make it easier to see how the remuneration/supplies/equipment allowance needs adjusting, if at all.

By "both parties", I mean those of the employment contract: the employee and the employer.

However, the other arrangement, between the couple, also needs settling. Sometimes, it may simply not have crossed the mind of the person working at hime, that his/her ongoing presence may have an impact on the management of the spouse's resources.

In once case I knew, a language teacher had been teaching her students in her own home. When her husband decided to work at home more often, she realised that she'd have to rent a venue. As that was too expensive, she ended up giving up that kind of individual teaching, and finding work outside the home. He lost his "glorified tea girl", as you put it, Klostersgirl, but then, after they'd worked out the parameters, she came home to a cooked dinner.

Last edited by doropfiz; 08.02.2020 at 11:40.
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Old 07.02.2020, 16:54
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Re: Employed but required to work from home

Generally speaking, if you're *required* to work from home, the employer needs to make sure it's suitable and safe, including providing equipment if necessary. You may be able to make some tax deductions. I know people who've been refused a mandatory working from home arrangement because they didn't have space for a home office.
On the other hand, if you *choose* to work from home, you're on your own.
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