Working from home

Distance work requires an unusual approach from both the employees and the employers: high quality and safe working equipment, agreed upon virtual working environments, regular communication, and joint entertainment assist in implementing a routine for the new situation that is equal to working together in the workplace.
Restrictions in force

In order to avoid the spread of the virus and getting infected, to protect the life and health of the people and to ensure the functioning of the society, it is necessary to follow the enacted restrictions and guidelines.

Restrictions in force
The meters of risk level

The main meters are the number on people infected with COVID-19 and the number of people hospitalised. The Government reviews the risk level once a week.

Instructions for how to behave at different risk levels

What agreements need to be reached with the employer when doing distance work?

Distance work can only be done based on a written agreement between the employee and the employer. In the interests of clarity, the agreement should, for instance, contain the following:

  • How are work tasks given and their performance monitored, and how is the communication with the employer and colleagues taking place?
  • How is the working time of a distance worker organised? Can the employer monitor that working time is being adhered to and how?
  • Are there times when the employee is expected to be present at the workplace and when are these times?
  • Is there an obligation to notify the employer of going to distance work and when?
  • What kind of adjustments are necessary to the working station of the employee?
  • How does the installation and maintenance of the work equipment (e.g. a computer, a printer) take place? How is the equipment returned if the working relationship ends?
  • Does the employee need to follow data protection and other safety requirements when doing distance work, and what are these requirements?
  • How does the employee ensure the preservation of the employer’s property?
  • Does the employer reimburse the costs that the employee incurs in relation to doing distance work (e.g. paper costs, internet connection) and to what extent?
  • On what conditions may the employee and the employer terminate doing distance work? For instance, if there are temporary circumstances that impede working from home (construction noise), is it temporarily allowed to work at the workplace?

How to do distance work safely and responsibly?

  • Even though the employer is responsible for the working environment even during distance work, the employee herself also needs to contribute to making the working environment safe. Discuss with your employer whether you are allowed to temporarily take your work chair, monitor, desk lamp etc. to your distance work station.
  • The location of doing distance work may be left undetermined but if you agree upon a specific location with your employer (e.g. home), you also need to come to an agreement with the employer if the location changes (e.g. country house).
  • Think through the possible cyber threats and risks. Use software to protect yourself against malware, install the necessary software updates in a timely manner, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication. Do your work primarily with the company laptop that most probably has better security features than your own computer. Ask your employer what your company’s elementary cyber hygiene requirements are so that you can minimise all risks.
  • If you need access to the company’s systems, applications or specific programmes to do your work, use the employer’s VPN solution. You can share documents with your colleagues and get access to them from everywhere safely and conveniently with cloud applications, if these are permitted in your company.
  • If you deal with sensitive or delicate information in your work, do not forget to encrypt the documents before sending them.
  • It is recommended to use a permanent internet connection when working from home. If several members of the family are doing distance work at the same time and the children are also using the internet, it might be a good idea to review your connection speed and increase it, if necessary.

How to ensure the security of passwords?

  • Distance working means that it is inevitably necessary to log into different websites and work environments, often using a password.
  • If there are many different places that require authentication, it might be tempting to use one and the same (and as simple as possible) password everywhere – both in personal and professional activities. That would certainly not be wise – should the passwords leak from one environment, all the other environments where you are using the same password would become vulnerable as well.

Use a password manager

  • One option for using different passwords in different locations in a way that you would not have to remember long passwords yourself is to use a password manager.
  • There are several different password managers and they can be used for free (e.g. LastPass, Keepass, 1Password).
  • When you use a password manager, you only have to remember one long password for your password manager.

Use multi-factor authentication

  • A good assistant in ensuring the security of your accounts is multi-factor authentication.
  • Multi-factor authentication means that you have to prove your identity in two or more ways (e.g. when you log in, the device asks both for your password and a code sent by SMS). This means that even if someone gets hold of your password (by phishing, malware or previously leaked passwords), they cannot get into your e-mail account without a code in your phone.
  • For instance, if you want to read your e-mails from your Gmail mailbox, you do not need to enter your code every time. You do, however, have to do it if you yourself or someone else wants to access your e-mail account from an unusual location or from a device that you do not usually use.

Last updated: 15.11.2021