Equal opportunity commissioner for technical and administrative staff
We are here for you
- Ten recommendations for gender-equitable selection committees (PDF)
- Project report and 10 concrete recommendations:
"Gender-Equitable Staffing of Selection Committees at Universität Hamburg” (PDF)
Ten tips on working from home and taking care of a family
The current situation is challenging for everyone. Working from home, especially with children who are not being supervised elsewhere or with other relatives, is one of these challenges. We have put together some tips that you might find useful.
Stefanie Nonnsen, equal opportunity commissioner for the technical, administrative, and library staff
gleichstellungsbeauftragte_tvp"AT"uni-hamburg.de, Tel: +49 40 42838‑1548
(gleichstellungsbeauftragte_tvp"AT"uni-hamburg.de)In case of (possible) conflicts, you can also contact Sonja Nielbock, Conflict Prevention and Resolution Unit
sonja.nielbock"AT"uni-hamburg.de, Tel: +49 40 42838‑9780
1. Do not take on too much
These times are not only a challenge for you; your children especially—and perhaps other relatives—have very special needs at the moment. It is not possible to reconcile a full day of work with a full day of care.
2. To the best of your ability, define working and family time
If your children are (already) able to understand that you need to concentrate on work, clarify with them the time that you as parents need to do so. An agreement with your partner is a good idea, especially if your partner is also at home. It does not require both parents to watch children do their homework, for example. The important thing is that children know whom they can talk to. In fact, what often works well in this case is saying something like, “You are the contact person this morning, and I am the contact person this afternoon; tomorrow, we can swap.” You can also usually say, “I have to make a phone call right now and do not want to be disturbed for half-an-hour.”
3. Use your working time as productively as possible
Think realistically about what you need or wish to accomplish in the time you have at your disposal and what you can actually accomplish. Set realistic daily goals that are naturally different from those you would have in the office. Make sure your ideas are realizable. You may not receive responses in some cases, because colleagues may be unable to access the programs in question or departments/areas may simply be understaffed.
4. Be flexible
This applies to all areas but especially time management. You do not necessarily have to stick to your core times, but the instructions from the Executive University Board do stipulate that you must be reachable. However, do take advantage of those times when you do not have to take care of others—for example, in the evenings, even on the weekend, or when your partner is taking on these duties.
5. Take time for your family
Children especially need significantly more attention right now. Take time with your family for a game, movie, or something else that has once again become all the rage: a puzzle! Working from home does not mean being available around the clock. Take a break.
6. Take time for yourself
Even though it may seem almost inconceivable, think about yourself. These times are here to stay a bit longer. They require some staying power, so do something for yourself and not just for your work or your family. For example, you could take a spontaneous day off so that you can sleep in or telephone with a friend instead of working at home.
7. Keep fit
Even if you are in (self-chosen) quarantine, do your best to get some fresh air—whether in your own garden, on your balcony, or simply by opening windows. Also make sure you eat well and get yourself moving. You cannot just drop out for the next few weeks—life will go on!
8. Stay in touch
Try to ring up your colleagues in your immediate team now and then. Everyone likes hearing from other people! This is especially true of colleagues with children— we do not want them to feel excluded from the team. Email your colleagues one more time to see if everything is OK and/or if they need support.
9. Communicate with your supervisor
It is very important to be open with your supervisor. You can agree to individual core working times or prioritize duties. Supervisors have a duty of care. Give them a chance to meet their obligations.
10. Celebrate your achievements
If you have other ideas about not just coping with family obligations at home but also using this time productively, contact us. Let’s keep in touch and benefit from one another. Above all, we hope that you and your loved ones stay healthy!
Universities’ equal opportunity mandate derives from various statutes.
- The basis for equal opportunity work is Article 3, particularly Section 2 of the German Basic Law.
“Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.”
- Individual rights and duties follow from the General Act on Equal Treatment (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG).
- The equal opportunity mandate for universities is stipulated in the Hamburg Higher Education Act (Hamburgisches Hochschulgesetz, HmbHG), in particular in Section 3 subsection 5.
- Hamburg’s statute on equal opportunity in public service (Hamburgisches Gleichstellungsgesetzt, HmbGleiG) comprehensively sets forth the office’s equal opportunity mandate and the equal opportunity commissioner’s rights and duties.