Online-Dialogue “Home Office”

“Home Office and Higher Education Institutions – more risk than reward?” This question was discussed by 59 people from 39 HEIs in an online dialogue organised by CHE Consult on 6th May 2020. This discussion was the first in a series initiated by CHE Consult. At present, the topic “home office” is more relevant than ever for HEI members. While working from home was previously an exception, this form of work has become common practice, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The following questions were discussed by the participants during the online dialogue:

  •     What are the risks associated with home office?
  •     What are the advantages?
  •     What experiences will you take with you for your HEI for the time after Corona?

At the beginning, Ms. John-Redeker (Head of Human Resources Development and Recruitment, TH Köln) and Prof. Dr. Salomo (Head of Department for Technology and Innovation Management, TU Berlin) each presented three theses on the topic. Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas together. Three short surveys were also conducted.

Many of the participants shared the assumption that attitudes towards home office at their HEI will change for the better after corona and that it will be easier to work from home. However, some also had reservations about the impact of corona on home office practices at their HEIs. According to the respondents, the biggest challenges for university staff working from home are the compatibility of childcare and home office, the availability of technical equipment and the level of interaction with colleagues. However, most participants also saw opportunities for the time after Corona. A large number of them believed that it will become the norm for employees to be able to work from home and about half of them assume that their university will invest in additional technical equipment for this purpose.

Julia Klingemann, initiator and moderator of the online dialogue, is pleased about the great interest that was on display: “We are pleased about the large number of participants and the intensive exchange of experiences in this online format. This encourages us to continue along this path and to continue the dialogue as a series”.

The first online dialogue dealt directly with the topic of HR development. Based on four themes, which according to our consulting experience play an essential role in HR development concepts, namely

  •     Strategic HR planning
  •     Application Management & Onboarding
  •     Personal development for employees
  •     Leaving Experts

we would like to prepare another online dialogue that deals with the field of “Strategic HR Planning” or “Application Management & Onboarding”.

If you are interested in participating in upcoming exchange formats or have any further comments on the topic, please contact us and send an e-mail to laura.wallor(at)