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FAQ for Working from home

Due to the current corona situation, home office regulations are currently being temporarily extended, and employees at risk and employees in care situations for relatives are already being called upon to make use of appropriate solutions wherever possible. The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Computer and Media Service offer various services for teleworking.

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What are the working hours while working from home?

Basically, the individual working time and its temporal position is the same as in the presence mode. All employees participate in the emergency presence mode within the framework of the organisational and personal possibilities. Under the current circumstances, however, there is usually no need to insist on rigid presence/availability times, for example, within the framework of the IT flexitime. There are no concerns if, for example, employees only work in the mornings or only in the afternoons or evenings, if this makes it easier to reconcile home office and family management. It is recommended that teams arrange time slots in which everyone can be reliably reached. 

The fact that individual employees are demonstrably unable to perform their work from their home office to the full extent after consultation with their superiors should not put them at a disadvantage. 


What do I enter in my time recording sheet during the while working from home?

Since the beginning of the essential-only mode, the University has trusted that everyone will do what they can to get involved, work, support and maintain operations even under these unusual and challenging circumstances. This trust also means that there can be no regular time recording in the home office. 

The fact that individual employees are demonstrably unable to perform their work from their home office to the full extent after consultation with their superiors should not put them at a disadvantage. With regard to time recording, it makes no difference whether they also have to look after their children, do not have the technical facilities or the type of work does not allow it. In the opinion of this department, home offices will not lead to time debits. On the other hand, it is assumed that there is generally no overtime at the home office. 

In the time recording forms, "B" is to be selected in the "Remarks" column on days in the home office or without compulsory attendance. On the printout, please handwrite "home office". 


What happens with working time credits accruing in essential-only mode?

The working hours worked are of course recognised in full. Time recording is carried out as normal. Even exceeding the 80 hour limit as maximum time credit from the DV Gleitzeit will not lead to a loss of credit. The possibilities of time compensation are then to be regulated after the end of the emergency operation in agreement between employees and superiors without limitation of the compensation period. The IT flexitime offers sufficient scope for this.

What options are available for working from home?

Work laptop

If you work at home and have a work laptop that you can take home with you, you can continue working with relatively few restrictions: Via VPN, you can connect to the HU network and access resources in the HU network as if you were at your workplace.

Private computer

In the current crisis situation, HU employees without a work laptop can also work with their private computer and also access a variety of services. More information about the CMS services for collaboration and home office. Via HU-Box including the office suite OnlyOffice a cloud storage including office applications is available via web interface.

The remote desktop service provides a virtual Windows interface with many office and academic applications, including access to personal home drives. Regardless of the work device, services such as video conferences or chats, project environments such as Moodle, web-based file services for storing and exchanging large files or e.g. mailing lists for coordination are available. A complete overview of all services of the CMS is available on the website at


What are the technical requirements for working from home?

  • The operating system must be up-to-date. 
    Devices for whose operating system there are no more security updates (e.g. Windows 7) may not be used for business tasks. All (security) updates must be installed for working in the home office. For this purpose, appropriate mechanisms are built into the operating system (e.g. Windows update, MacOS → software update, Linux package manager).
  • The software used may only be used in the current version, especially the VPN solution and the browser.
  • Access protection must be activated: For example, by password when logging on to the operating system (under Windows 10 a password is required by default) and, if possible, also for the BIOS (depending on the manufacturer), by automatic locking when inactive (e.g. screen saver; already active by default under Windows 10).
  • Connection via VPN with the HU (e.g. via OpenVPN)
  • Use a personal soft certificate for the encryption of confidential data (e.g. in e-mail traffic or file exchange) and for signing (e.g. e-mails or scanned documents). Renewal of expired certificates is possible online without sending the PIN letter again.
  • If possible, store data on the device only encrypted, e.g. by fully encrypting the hard disk by the operating system or VeraCrypt, which also encrypts container files (similar usage as ZIP file integration under Windows).
  • Only use encrypted connections when transferring data, typically recognizable by the "S" in the protocol name, such as for e-mail: IMAPS, SMTP+TLS and in the browser: https://.
  • Install or activate a virus scanner (e.g. the Windows Defender built into Windows, which is activated by default in Windows 10) and a firewall (built into Windows, MacOS, Linux operating systems).
  • Work with data as little as possible : Only store absolutely necessary, official data on the device. Use network storage of the CMS (e.g. HU-Box: Work directly online or move locally stored service data to a network storage of the CMS after work is finished.


What do I have to take into account if I work with a work device when working from home?

Devices, such as a work laptop, have been purchased by the HU and are managed centrally. Users have no access to the administrative functions of the service devices. They cannot install any software themselves and can only make limited changes to configurations. If this is required, please contact the issuing office. HU service units are only available to HU employees. Use by other persons who do not have to carry out service business on it is excluded. Ensure that equipment and documents are stored safely (for example, a lockable room or cabinet).


What do I have to take into account if I work from home with a private device?

Due to the special situation, it may be necessary to use private devices. In this case, particular attention must be paid to ensuring data security and confidentiality. You should therefore take additional measures:

  • Preferably use a desktop PC or laptop, because these devices typically have more up-to-date software than tablets or smartphones.
  • Restrict the private device to other people if you use it temporarily for business purposes.
  • Unnecessary software should be uninstalled: Games in particular, with their anti-cheating measures, pose a risk in terms of information leakage of business data. Use RDP services directly for processing. If absolutely necessary, save data at a single, defined location and move it to the HU-Box or internal file servers.


What are the data protection requirements while working from home?

Due to the current development many employees are forced to work in the home office at short notice. Please note however, that even an emergency on the processing side can data protection sensitivity of the data on the data subject side is not changed.

Therefore we would like to point out that we are responsible for data provided to you during your activities in and from your home office to observe the data protection regulations. The described Guidelines and tips are intended to help you in this. They are updated and added. You can find further information on the website (german only.


What services does the HU's CMS offer for teleworking?

The computer and media service offers the following services for collaborative work: Services for teleworking at a glance. 


When is an accident while working from home an accident at work and when not?

Especially while working from home it is difficult to distinguish between insured and uninsured work.

Going to the toilet, going to the parcel carrier for a private consignment, going to the kitchen to eat, or going outside the home, as long as it does not serve the completion of work tasks, are considered uninsured activities in the home office.

Source: Unfallkasse Berlin


What if there's an accident while working from home?

If you have an accident at work in your home office, you are generally covered by accident insurance. 

The important question is whether the activity is closely related to your professional duties and not the place where they are carried out. A distinction is therefore made between private (self-employed) and business activities.

Source: Unfallkasse Berlin


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