The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted us to reexamine the ways we mix our work and lives together. Virtual has become the new normal. Remote work shows no signs of ending as we’ve seen years of digital transformation compressed into a few months, disrupting the entire model of in office work. As in-person activities remain limited, it is necessary to continue to embrace our new virtual normal world as an effective way to grow and connect professionally and personally.
Yet, with the disruption comes creativity and reinvention. So while the pendulum is still swinging between caution and hope, adapting to the situation resiliently can emerge practices that render your work environment better than before. Adapting a thorough policy for your businesses work from home protocols can provide a balance that both employers and employees are seeking during these unprecedented times.
The Key Elements Of A Work From Home Policy:
1.Policy Brief and Purpose
Mention clearly what the intent of your work from home policy is, and what you are aiming to achieve by providing job opportunities from home. Communicate the importance of the policy as well as how it will be implemented going forward. It should improve the overall employee value proposition, maximizing the work experience of your team members.
- Scope and eligibility
Specify which positions are available for remote work within the organization considering client-facing responsibilities, software limitations, and cybersecurity risks.
Consider the following elements before deciding ‘who’ can work from home:
- Does the nature of the employee’s job allow them to work from home?
- Are there any security or privacy issues?
- Will communication with the remote employees be difficult?
- Do they have the required software or equipment installed at home?
- What are the conditions in the employee’s place of work?
Apart from these, the work from home policy should also mention ‘when’ the employees can work from home. Generally, they can work from home: On certain occasions, full time, or hybrid.
- Attendance and Availability Standards
The availability of the remote workers must be outlined in work from home policy. It can be a challenge to bring your people to the desk and get their input right on time. To avoid this problem, you must set standards around when and how your remote workers should be available.
- Productivity measures
The policy should also specify how remote workers’ productivity will be measured. It can evaluate in a variety of ways, like depending on the time spent on the project, number of cases handled, amount of customer interactions, and more. companies need to decide how they want their remote workers to be assessed.
- Equipment and Tech support
State what equipment and tech support will be offered to their remote employees. If you expect employees to use their own laptops, for example, it must be mentioned in the policy. It should also outline what they are supposed to do when having technical difficulties and have an action plan for that as well.
- Response measures
The policy should define whether or not the remote workers are expected to respond to the manager or a colleague immediately. Also, it should streamline the communication channels, promoting a healthy bonding between workers and supervisors.
- Compensation and Benefits
If working from home has any effect on the compensation and benefits of the employees, the policy should mention it.
- Rightful Termination
Many employers feel uncomfortable providing the work from home opportunities because of the lack of face to face communications. However, the work from home policy should contain the fact that no employee will be fired on the grounds of operating remotely.
- Dress code
While working from home, employees still have to be in touch with colleagues, clients, or business partners via Video conferencing. For this condition, a note about the suitable dress code while remote working is reasonable.
- Physical environment
If you, as an employer, prefer your remote workers to work in a particular physical environment, don’t forget to put in the policy.
All the specific requests regarding official security and client confidentiality must be stated in the policy. For example, if you don’t want your remote worker to use a public WiFi, then that should be mentioned for employees to be cautious while working from a public place.
Your remote work policy should be just as flexible and adaptable as we have to be in these changing times, but will help tremendously in providing a basis of understanding to employees and managers or business owners alike. If you’d like an example that you can use to model your business’s remote work policy, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share ours with you.