additional teleworking costs

It’s been two years of mandatory teleworking

16 March 2022: exactly 2 years since 100% teleworking became obligatory for almost everyone at the Commission.  On that first day in 2020 some of us did not even have an internet connection at home or a computer. Nevertheless we did what we could with what we had and ensured business continuity at the Commission in the face of a global pandemic. We bought computers, got the internet connected, used our own mobile phones, joined work whatsapp groups, Continue reading It’s been two years of mandatory teleworking

New decision on working time and hybrid working: only Generation 2004 said no!

If you wonder what happened with the new Decision on Working Time and Hybrid working (WTHW) [1], here is the reply: all trade unions and staff associations (OSPs) except Generation 2004 accepted what is in the current draft and did not agree to continue the negotiations with the administration!

Generation 2004 was the only one among all OSPs to request Commissioner Hahn open a conciliation phase, the last possible option OSPs have in any negotiation with the administration [2].  This is a formal request to continue negotiations: there are too many points of disagreement still. Continue reading New decision on working time and hybrid working: only Generation 2004 said no!

The hidden costs of teleworking – and now energy prices!

*Lunchtime conference on Thursday, 27 January@12.30*[1]

All over Europe, energy prices have been rising during 2021 and they skyrocketed at the end of 2021. Naturally, this situation has an impact on Commission employees as well, most of whom have been working from home since 16 March 2020. The burden of the associated costs has been particularly heavy for with lower salaries such as temporary staff (contract agents (CAs) and  temporary agents (TAs)) and those further down the salary scales (secretaries and clerks (AST-SCs) and assistants (ASTs)). Continue reading The hidden costs of teleworking – and now energy prices!

The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 28.10.2021

*This replaces the 11.10.2021 version of this FAQs*

28.10.2021 we had one more social dialogue meeting on the latest working time and hybrid working rules. HR stated that this is the last meeting on this topic. As before, there are many questions still outstanding on how this ‘new normal’ Continue reading The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 28.10.2021

The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 11.10.2021

*This FAQs is superseded by 28.10.2021 version*

We had the second of a proposed two social dialogue meetings on the implementation of working time and hybrid working yesterday (Monday 11.10.2021). HR agreed to a third meeting: there are many questions still outstanding Continue reading The ‘new normal’: is this it? FAQs 11.10.2021

Digital overload, burnout and back to the office

We invite you to participate in our survey on workload, digital overload and burnout. The Working time and hybrid working decision (issued July 2021) setting out the proposed ‘new normal’ with its ‘disconnection bandwidth’ is still under discussion (follow-up meeting with HR 8 September) and we’d like to have your most recent, post-summertime input, especially in light of the move to Phase 3 of the return to the office strategy announced for Monday 20 September for all Commission sites [1]. Continue reading Digital overload, burnout and back to the office

‘Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest: winners!

Thanks to all of you who submitted photos of your home-office/kitchen-table/cupboard-under-the-stairs/garden IT setup and your increased bills and accommodation costs. We always appreciate your interaction and comments and you can still send us your teleworking photos and evidence of costs incurred: let us know where and how you are working! Continue reading ‘Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest: winners!

Welcome to ‘The Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest

*We would still like to receive your pics and stories*

Still working at the kitchen table after 13 months? Your bills increased exponentially? Cannot afford a decent home office with your salary?

If all of this sound familiar, it is time to participate in our photography contest!

Send us pictures of your home office set-up, your bills before and after compulsory teleworking started Continue reading Welcome to ‘The Wild West of Teleworking’ Photography Contest

Home-office equipment dilemma: zero clarity

Following the announcement by Commissioner Hahn and DG HR of a move to help staff equip their home offices, many of you contacted Generation 2004 to enquire about the two different schemes mentioned. Yes, you read that correctly, the Commission has set up one scheme for the (partial) reimbursement of a screen and an office chair (purchase deadline 31 December [1]) and is developing a more comprehensive second scheme for 2021 [2].

Generation 2004 was pleased that the Commission is at last taking steps in the direction we have been advocating for since the start of the COVID‑19 crisis: support staff under the compulsory teleworking arrangements by improving ergonomics at home.

Continue reading Home-office equipment dilemma: zero clarity

Finally – reimbursement of teleworking costs

Yes, we can! This is the bottom line of this article. Yes, we can convince the Commission to do the right thing, even if it takes a lot of pressure (and more pressure) and  notes (and more notes). After many discussions and meetings, DG HR has agreed in its Coronavirus update #23 to reimburse the costs for a screen and an ergonomic chair with ceilings of €150 and €200, respectively. While the reimbursement process has only just been set out [1] (and for seconded national experts (SNEs) is still being worked on [2]), this is a huge win for our colleagues, and we take the opportunity to thank all of you who have supported us during the last 8 months while we fought this uphill battle. A special thanks goes to the colleagues who used our template to request a reimbursement. While DG HR has refused these Art. 90.1 requests, the sheer number of them proved that there is a real need. This is your victory.

Continue reading Finally – reimbursement of teleworking costs