While remote work options were on the rise in the past few years, the pervasive shutdowns and other social distancing restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have encouraged even more businesses to move to remote work or at least have the structure in place for workers to go remote should the need arise. Whether you have remote workers or are considering having employees work remotely at some point in the future, it can be best practice to have a remote work policy in place to cover as many of the issues that may arise with such a work option.
Remote Work Policies
Your remote work policy should, first and foremost, outline what employees are eligible to work remotely. Will all of your employees be able to work remotely or just a certain, specified few? Along the same line, your policy should detail what employees may be authorized for a hybrid work model where they come into the office sometimes, but work remotely other times. Be as detailed as possible about this in your policy.
Once you describe who can work remotely and whether the remote work will be all the time or under a hybrid model, a discussion of what remote work hours will look like can also be beneficial to your remote work policy. Will remote workers work the same standard hours as office workers? If hybrid, how many hours can be spent working remotely, and how many should be spent in the office? Working remotely can feel more flexible than office work, which can be a good thing, but providing details on what kind of working structure remote employees should be following can be helpful to make sure everyone is on the same page.
With technological advancements, we can all remain more connected than ever, even while we are physically apart. Your remote work policy should detail what platforms will be used for employees to remain connected in even while they are working outside of the office. There may be message boards and other chat platforms. You may also be making use of various video conferencing platforms. Prepare your employees for success by giving them the information they need on the tools they will be using to remain engaged in the business they are working for.
Speaking of preparing your employees for a successful remote work arrangement, your remote work policy should also detail what equipment will be provided to them for their remote work setup. Employers may wish to provide workers with a laptop, desktop, and tech accessories. In lieu of providing office supplies, employers may want to provide a remote work stipend instead so that the employee can be reimbursed for these costs instead of being provided them in-kind from the company.
Timekeeping will also be an important part of most remote work policies. If you are requiring your remote employees to keep track of their times, let them know and also instruct them on how this should be done. In addition to timekeeping, you may also want remote workers to keep a long of daily assignments completed. This can be a great way to check in on the work progress of your remote workers so that everyone remains connected and updated even when not all working together in the office.
Business Law Attorneys
Remote work is here to stay. If your business is looking to add remote workers or is otherwise in need of a formal remote work policy, the experienced business law attorneys at Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace can help. Contact us today.