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Workplace of an operations control center

As workplace ( english workplace ) is called in the organization theory a spatially localized, with work equipment equipped office in a business entity to which a worker their work tasks can do.


Companies of all types (companies with a private legal form , public companies , non-profit organizations ), public administration (e.g. authorities ) and other organizations (e.g. foundations ) can be considered as economic units with jobs . They can only achieve their goals if they set up workplaces and employ staff to do their assigned work there. The workplace is always person-related, while the position is purely factual and only represents an organizational structure as the smallest organizational unit . The position is a term from the organizational structure , the workplace is part of the process organization . Only the workplace is occupied by just one person (it is unipersonal ), and the division of the workplace does not change anything.


Apprentice at a workbench (1952): The workbench and its immediate surroundings are the workplace, the workbench and the file are the tools , the piece of metal to be filed is the work object , the apprentice is the worker

Frederick Winslow Taylor began in 1911 to examine the work processes in the workplace as part of his Scientific Management and described the execution of certain work tasks ( English performance ). In 1929 Fritz Fleege-Althoff commented on questions of workplace design. From 1931 business economists recognized the workplace as the “smallest spatial unit”. In 1932 Heinrich Nicklisch considered the workplace to be the smallest organizational unit, consisting of the active person with their work equipment and work task. Erich Gutenberg saw the smallest production unit in the workplace. Erich Kosiol defined it in 1962 as the “spatially concretized and equipped place of action of the work subject”.


The workplace combines space , personnel and work equipment . The spatial dimension is the place of work , which can either be the company location ( including its branches or branches ) or, by virtue of the right of management , another location ( construction site , telecommuting , teleworking , home work ). There are fixed and location-changing workplaces. The workplace can also change with the work object, for example when building roads and paths or bridges . Erwin Grochla differentiates between fixed workplaces with or without work equipment and portable workplaces with or without work equipment. The latter include workplaces with external assignments (fire brigade, police, rescue services, craftsmen, fitters or field workers). The personal component of the workplace is reflected in the qualifications and working hours of the workforce ( full-time / part-time work ). Work equipment is all materials belonging to the operating and office equipment.


A general distinction is made between the office workstation ( cell office with 10–15 m² main usable area (HNF), combination office with 10–12 m² HNF or open- plan office with 8–12 m² HNF) and the production workstation (including workshop , workshop , workbench , assembly line ). The office workstation is a workstation “where information is generated, developed, processed, evaluated, received or forwarded. For example, planning, development, advisory, management, administrative or communication activities as well as functions supporting these activities are carried out ”. The computer workstation is dominated by access to and handling of electronic data processing . A production workstation is equipped with the appropriate tools and systems for specific production purposes.

As interior workstations jobs are defined where no activities involving hazardous substances (such as. For example, in a chemical laboratory) are conducted and in which it is not (such as. For example, in a workshop) to noise areas. The regulations of the Workplace Ordinance (ArbStättV) in conjunction with the Technical Rules for Workplaces (ASR) apply to indoor workplaces . Such workplaces can be found in very different working environments such as offices, sales rooms, hospitals, schools, kindergartens or libraries.

There are no binding air limit values ​​for chemical or biological indoor air quality . A comparison with the outside air situation is therefore used for the assessment. Various sources such as the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) and the World Health Organization (WHO) publish guide values, indoor workplaces or classroom reference values ​​or guide values ​​that can be used as an aid when assessing measurements.

According to Paragraph 3.6 “Ventilation” in the appendix to the Workplace Ordinance, there must be sufficient healthy breathing air in enclosed work rooms, taking into account the general conditions. Unpleasant smells are to be avoided as far as the nature of the company allows. As a rule, products (e.g. construction chemicals) and devices ( e.g. laser printers and copiers) or systems (e.g. ventilation and air conditioning systems ) must not emit any nasty odor emissions .

Complaints from employees in indoor workplaces are often referred to as sick building syndrome : Burning eyes, scratchy throat, stuffy nose or headaches are the symptoms. Odors can be the trigger for the discomfort. Often the problems cannot be traced back to a single cause, but require a comprehensive analysis. In addition to the quality of the air we breathe, the room climate, disturbing noises, lighting, workplace design, electromagnetic fields, ionizing radiation and psychological factors such as B. Take stress into account.

With regard to the degree of automation, there are workplaces with predominantly manual , machine processing with human operation or fully automatic processing.

Legal issues

Laws and the case law of the Federal Labor Court (BAG) on the protection of jobs strengthen the rights of employees . Section 5 (1) of the Workplace Ordinance forces employers to protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke . The Workplace Ordinance (ArbStättV) defines workplaces as areas in which employees are active as part of their work ( Section 2 (4) ArbStättV). The video surveillance in the workplace is prohibited, as their recovery is procedurally inadmissible bullying may violate the personality or health represent Christian institutions to Muslim workers wearing a headscarf ban. On the other hand, the employer is still Abuse protected because the consumption of alcohol , drugs or other intoxicating substances must not lead to workers owed work performance can not be provided and the excessive Internet use in the workplace (over 1.5 hours per working day ) during working hours constitutes a violation of the employee's main and secondary obligations under the employment contract.

Work and service instructions often regulate the specific behavior of employees in the workplace and thus contribute to improving work safety . Any physical and mental health stresses emanating from the workplace must be described in a risk assessment within the framework of holistic occupational safety , which is the basis for the instruction of employees in the workplace as prescribed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Anyone who is called up for basic military service or a military exercise retains their job and does not suffer any disadvantage in accordance with Section 1 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act . The same applies to civil service in accordance with Section 78 (1) of the Civil Service Act . Sexual harassment in the workplace is by the General Equal Treatment Act prohibited (AGG) and can also by §§ 174 et seq. Of the Criminal Code be punished. If the employer gives notice of a termination because one of the job-sharers leaves the company, it is ineffective ( Section 13 (2) Part-Time and Temporary Employment Act ).

Workplace organization

"An appropriate workplace design exists when the workplace corresponds both to the activities to be performed by the individual responsible persons and to the overall process determined by the division of labor ". Efficient work presupposes a clever organization of the workplace and work processes through sensible work design . Economic here means, on the one hand, cost-optimized processing (through cost reductions or shorter throughput times ) and, on the other hand, the improvement of product quality . The larger a workplace is dimensioned, the tighter work processes have to be designed. Spatially large workplaces (construction sites) require a more precise placement of the required work equipment than smaller workplaces (offices). Both of these must have secure access to the work equipment they need. The work equipment must be positioned according to the frequency of use. For this purpose, the 5-S method with sorting , systemizing , cleaning , standardizing and self-discipline lists the five phases that can contribute to improving workplace organization.

An optimally designed workplace

  • enables work without long walking distances or idle time / lost paths,
  • does not hinder the workflow and increases the employee's performance
  • takes into account body dimensions and movement sequences as well as the relevant occupational safety regulations .

The scientific fields of ergonomics and work studies deal with meaningful (among other things, performance-promoting ) work design .

In addition to the economic organization of the workplace, its humanity also plays an important role. According to this, the workplace should be tolerable , reasonable and subjectively satisfactory for the workers .

In his Semco management system, the Brazilian entrepreneur Ricardo Semler lets employees completely design their own workplace in offices and workshops, combined with extensive democratization of work.

Other aspects of the workplace

Also having fun at work ( Kenya )

The equipment and environment, the wages and the special requirements and personnel development opportunities at the workplace have an effect on the work motivation and the working atmosphere and determine the attractiveness of a professional activity . The workplace enables the employee to learn on the job ( English training on the job ), only a few workplaces today can do without workstation computers and the work environment required for this. The work safety is concerned among other things with the occupational exposure limit , workers have the nature of its conduct environmental conditions to consider their workplace environment. Finally, the creation or destruction of jobs has an impact on indicators of job density and the employment situation in the labor market .

Workplace and mental disorder

Interpersonal appreciation in the workplace helps to avoid workplace phobia . Causes of mental disorders in the workplace can arise from threat factors. These include: fear of failure, admonitions from superiors, pecking order among colleagues, bullying, jobs with threatening situations (accidents, assaults, assaults), job loss.


In order to take a break from work stress, the toilet is a place of relaxation in stressful situations. According to a survey by the job exchange Jobware from 2018, almost every second employee (48%) uses the toilet during working hours to take a break or to do private business. The smartphone is a loyal companion, 33% of those surveyed stated that the quiet place offers a respite from daily work stress. For 15% the smartphone offers the opportunity to play and chat for other purposes. On the other hand, 33% of employers are convinced that their employees take a break in the quiet place. Incidentally, this survey found that 33% of employees charge their smartphones with company electricity and 30% "accidentally" take pens and office supplies with them. The relationship with colleagues is also not free from difficulties: 27% are bothered by the humor, 8% by the smell of the others. 17% find typing noises annoying. Ultimately, two in five workers (39%) have experienced sexual harassment and lewd remarks.

See also

Web links

Wikibooks: Etiquette: Workplace  - Learning and teaching materials
Wiktionary: Workplace  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Erich Potthoff / Karl Trescher, Controlling in der Personalwirtschaft , 1986, p. 28
  2. Erwin Grochla (Ed.), Das Büro als Zentrum der Informationsverarbeitung , 1971, p. 134
  3. Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management , 1913, pp. 130 ff.
  4. ^ Fritz Fleege-Althoff, workplace design , in: Betriebsführung, 1929, p. 127
  5. Wolfgang Prelinger, Arbeitsgestaltung im Büro , 1931, p. 185
  6. ^ Heinrich Nicklisch, Die Betriebswirtschaft , 1932, p. 193
  7. Erich Gutenberg, Fundamentals of Business Economics , Volume 1: Production , 1965, p. 96
  8. Erich Kosiol, Organization of the Company , 1962, p. 98
  9. Erich Kosiol, Organization of the Enterprise , 1962, p. 236
  10. Erich Kosiol, Organization of the Enterprise , 1962, p. 237
  11. Erwin Grochla (ed.), Das Büro als Zentrum der Informationsverarbeitung , 1971, p. 135
  12. Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (Ed.), Guide for the design of computer and office workplaces , BGI 650, VBG and BAuA 2012, p. 10
  13. ^ Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Statutory Accident Insurance (IFA): Indoor workplaces. Retrieved July 4, 2017 .
  14. ^ Unfallkasse Nordrhein-Westfalen: Indoor workplaces. Retrieved July 4, 2017 .
  15. ASR A3.6 ventilation. Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, accessed on July 5, 2017 .
  16. Report: Indoor workplaces - Recommended procedure for determining the working environment. German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), accessed on July 5, 2017 .
  17. BAG, judgment of November 21, 2013, Az .: 2 AZR 797/11
  18. BAG, judgment of 16 May 2007, Az .: 8 AZR 809/06
  19. BAG, judgment of September 24, 2014, Az .: 5 AZR 611/12
  20. ^ BAG, judgment of January 26, 1995, Az .: 2 AZR 649/94
  21. BAG, judgment of May 31, 2007, Az .: 2 AZR 200/06
  22. Erwin Grochla, Possibilities for Increasing Economic Efficiency in the Office , in: Erich Kosiol (Ed.), Bürowirtschaftliche Forschung, 1961, p. 62
  23. Bert Teeuwen / Christoph Schaller, The Success Method for Workplace Organization , 2015, p. 14 ff.
  24. Wolfgang Lück (Ed.), Lexikon der Betriebswirtschaft , 1983, p. 86
  25. Volker Faust : Liebenauer health information. Mental health. Psychiatric and neurological information offered by the Liebenau Foundation. With the collaboration of Walter Fröscher and Günter Hole and the Psychosocial Health Working Group. Liebenau Foundation. Volume 26 (Workplace and Mental Disorders, Overstimulation, Facial Blindness (Prosopagnosia)), Liebenau, Autumn 2019. pp. 1–4.
  26. VDI nachrichten , November 2, 2018, No. 44, p. 29