Fully remote jobs and work-from-home policies are on the rise. Typically embraced for its flexibility, remote work has been made possible by mobile devices and cloud-based applications. Now that people are able to conduct the same work from home, motivation for coming to the office is plummeting.
It is predicted that over a third of employees will work remotely in the next 10 years. Remote working is set to become the norm, and is increasingly asked by employees and potential candidates alike.
Yet, most companies don’t have any formal policy on the matter. This is where confusion can set in. To set your employees up for success, they need to understand what your expectations are.
Here are some guidelines to create a successful work-from-home policy.
The ability to work remotely shouldn’t be a global perk in your company. Not all jobs can be done from home. Not all employees have what it takes to work from home either. It takes discipline to work remotely, without a corporate structure.
Your policy should clearly spell-out which positions are eligible for remote work, and have a clause stating it’s subject to review.
Your policy should also state when your employees need to be available and how and when to communicate. Setting schedule requirements from the start eliminates any possible frustration between employees based on time. Organizing expectations around communication creates a healthy relationship between employees and supervisors–no one will have concerns about productivity expectations, or be left in the dark.
Remote workers need the right tools to complete their work. Therefore, you need to state what equipment you will provide your employees with. If you expect employees to provide their own computers, then you also need to specify this.
4- Performance evaluation
Your policy should specify how an employee’s performance will be measured. Performance can be measured in a number of ways, whether it be on the time spent on the project, number of cases resolved, amount of client interactions, and more, you need to determine how you want to evaluate your employees.
Having job descriptions is crucial, in our opinion. Ultimately, your employees need to do the job you hired them to do in the first place. Your policy should state that if an employee is deemed unfit for remote work, they’ll have to come back to the office.
5- Confidentiality and security
A big problem with remote work is security. You may have a secure network in your office, but when information is taken out of the office, security is no longer guaranteed. If you have specific requests–for example if you don’t want your employees working on public Wi-Fi or making phone calls in a coffee-shop–then that should be stated in the policy.
Going hand-in-hand with security, client confidentiality must also be addressed in your policy. Again, keeping information confidential is much easier in a protected work-space.
Giving your employees the option to work from home can feel like a no-brainer to keep them happy. It can also attract potential talent. But without a proper policy, it can easily backfire. Remember, working from home is a perk, not an obligation.You don’t want your employees to treat it as “just another paid-day off”.
If you want to implement a work-at-home policy or have any questions, please contact us. We will gladly assist you.