Pandemic situation: Federal and state governments are calling for more home offices

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In view of the increasing number of corona infections, the federal and state governments have called on employees and employers to work more from home in the coming weeks. This emerges from the resolution that Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the heads of government of the states presented on Friday after their video switch on the pandemic. This also includes changes to the existing rules – for example, comprehensive 2G-plus requirements in the catering industry and shorter quarantine times.

The resolution does not provide for any tightening of the home office. However, the federal and state governments explicitly point out the existing obligation to work from home if possible. The home office reduces “contacts at work and on the way to work. It helps to reduce the number of infections,” says the paper.

Even before the federal-state switch, Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) appealed to citizens and companies to use the home office options more than before.

In an interview with the German Press Agency, Heil recalled that the Infection Protection Act regulates that home offices must be offered and used wherever possible. Since then, home office has been used more intensively again. “But there is still room for improvement,” said the labor minister. “That is why there is now a clear appeal to companies to offer home offices wherever possible and a clear request to employees to work from home whenever possible.” Once again, it is important to reduce social contacts and thus make a contribution to society against the spread of the virus.

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The number of corona infections had risen sharply again in the past few days. On Friday, the number of new infections reported per 100,000 inhabitants exceeded the 300 mark for the first time in two and a half weeks. The new virus variant Omikron is particularly contagious.

“Last spring, we made a significant contribution to reducing infections with the home office regulation – not yet with Omikron at the time,” said Heil. “This is all the more necessary now with the more contagious variant.”

Heil emphasized: “We must continue to reduce contacts, also in order to be able to keep social life and schools open.” In the current situation, home office is not only a question of personal responsibility, but also of social solidarity. “And it is a question of economic reason so that we can get our economy and the labor market through the winter well.” In addition, it was also clear that in the long term only vaccination against the pandemic could help, emphasized the Minister of Labor.

At the beginning of the year, the Munich-based Ifo Institute reported that people were working increasingly from home across all industries. According to a company survey by the institute, 27.9 percent of employees were at least temporarily working from home in December. In August the rate was 23.8 percent. Since the end of November, companies have again had to offer their employees the opportunity to work at home.


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