Do your remote employees know what you expect from them?
If your business is like many others, you have recently had to reevaluate your work environment in light of global health concerns. Perhaps this included instilling social distancing, providing
sanitation options, and allowing employees to work from home. As things get back to normal, you may be discovering the many benefits of having remote employees.
Working from the comfort and safety of their own homes has become an appealing option to many workers. If you are willing to allow this in your Washington company, you should understand that this involves more than just setting some ground rules. You and your staff will need to establish a comprehensive policy that covers those contingencies remote workers may encounter.
Creating work-from-home policies
Whether you offer a work-from-home option as a full-time alternative or in conjunction with in- office duties, you should start by deciding on the standards employees must meet to be eligible to work remotely. There may be certain job functions that lend themselves well to remote work while it’s best to handle others in the office environment.
Depending on the type of work your company does, you might find it necessary to seek creative ways to maintain a team atmosphere even when some workers are off-site. This may include regular in-house meetings, virtual training, or teleconferencing. You might also have to offer training for at-home employees, such as time management skills and the use of certain vital technology, but it is important that you begin by creating policies that address the following items:
- Standards employees must meet to obtain approval to work remotely
- Types of schedules and number of hours remote employees will work each day
- Channels of communication between remote employees and office workers
- Steps at-home employees must follow to comply with company standards for security and confidentiality
- Professionalism in the at-home work environment (i.e. dress code for remote employees; how do employees intend to handle pets and children while on calls; etc.).
- Technical support to at-home workers, perhaps even outside of office hours if remote workers will have more flexible schedules
- The process you will follow for reviewing and fine-tuning your policies with the input of your remote employees
Many business owners find that remote workers have a considerably lower rate of absenteeism. They also meet a generally higher productivity level since they appreciate the flexibility of their positions. However, even employees who enjoy flexible work situations appreciate the parameters a sound work-from-home policy provides.
If you need assistance with drafting or fine-tuning your work-from-home policies, please contact Cap City Law (360) 705-1335. Our professional attorneys can help you determine
the best approach for your unique business situation.