Remote work is here to stay. Even though many companies were prompted to adopt work from home policies during the lockdown, crafting the right work policy for each role is critical to building an effective remote team.
It might be your first time considering implementing remote work, and if it is so, let me tell you that it could notoriously boost workforce productivity. Indeed, new research shows that 71% of managers were surprised by remote workers’ productivity in 2020.
What does it need to build a great work from home policy? In this post, we discuss how to make it work. In addition, we provide a checklist of five core aspects needed to write the best remote work policy.
Table of Contents
What Is a Remote Work Policy?
Maybe you are considering a remote work policy for the first time. But what is a remote work policy, and what does it entail?
A remote work policy is a comprehensive document that outlines your company’s guidelines and expectations for employee work-from-home practices. It might lay out who is eligible to work from home, how often they can do so, what equipment they will need, where they should complete their work, and more.
Some companies may choose to create a hybrid remote work policy that only addresses certain aspects of remote working. For example, you may have an onboarding policy for new employees and another for performance reviews. You could also have a remote working security policy rather than one overarching remote work agreement.
But as a company, there are working from home legal requirements you must meet. Not to mention, these remote work policies, can also be real assets that help you retain talent, attract new employees and remain competitive in the current job market. They are also useful internally to help you set clear expectations with your teams and manage performance remotely.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Implementing a Work From Home Policy
The research on flexible work arrangements is mixed. On one hand, these arrangements are highly valued by employees and can positively impact an organisation’s ability to recruit and retain top talent. On the other hand, some studies find that when workers have unlimited flexibility, they tend to overwork, which can negatively impact their health and well-being.
In addition to the impact on employees, there are also benefits and disadvantages that companies should consider when deciding whether to implement a remote or flexible work policy.
Advantages of Remote Work:
- Reduced operating costs
- Enhanced productivity
- Increased employee retention
- Better employee health and well-being
- Attracts Millennials and the new generation of workers
Disadvantages of Working From Home:
- Communication is different from in the office
- Employees may feel isolated or disconnected from the team when they are working remotely
- It is hard to build a company culture
- Remote workers may not have access to the same resources or technology that they would in the office
- It can be difficult to manage time and disconnect, affecting employee wellbeing
What Should a Remote Work Policy Include?
When you are an employee at the office, it is easy to know what your employer expects of you. But leading remote teams and measuring success can be challenging even for the most experienced HRs.
An effective home office policy allows the employee to focus on their role. In addition, it is key to setting communication processes and tools according to the workflow.
So, what should a remote work policy include? We have broken down five key elements you must address before switching remote.
Remote Work Policy Checklist
1. Determine Role Eligibility
Not all positions are eligible to work in remote teams. Your policy must consider roles that are best suited for this system and be clear about the ones that are not. Otherwise, you might need to deal with employees’ requests about remote work.
Here are some questions that might help you determine role eligibility:
- Does your employee need a traditional office to interact with customers and team members?
- Can the superiors monitor productivity by using technology?
- Can you provide the required software associated with the position responsibilities?
- Does your candidate have strong time management and adaptability skills?
Which technologies are you planning to use to communicate with your remote team? At this point, you must consider technology and security policies, along with onboarding strategies to guide new team members.
In addition, it is important to choose secure and efficient software for online collaboration. At Factorial, we provide software solutions for HR teams to help you manage the workplace and measure growth with ease. From real-time time tracking to the onboarding of new employees, we’ve got everything you need to focus on your team rather than on administrative tasks.
For some companies, remote employment means home office from 9 to 5. On the other hand, others go adventurous and work towards an asynchronous work culture. And although it sounds challenging, it is boosting the productivity of remote teams from all over the world.
You are in charge of determining which option will benefit your team the most, so you need to build attendance policies and procedures that are clear-cut.
4. Homeworking Expenses
The Government established that employers must provide homeworking expenses for their employees. These include equipment and supplies related to the tasks required to perform. Usually, you will need to cover internet services, computers, office supplies, and even office furniture.
You can check more information about what to report and what’s exempt from taxes on the Government’s official website.
5. Responsibilities and Progress Reports
Be clear about the tasks involved in the daily schedule and set deadlines for employees who must report to managers.
Set the KPIs that will help you measure your team growth, and be specific on what’s expected to be reported. Communicate specific goals you want to achieve, and then track the progress of your team against those goals.
Leading remote teams is challenging, but a skill needed in a world moving toward more flexible work arrangements. In this article, we discussed work from home policy best practices and advised on rules for employees working remotely. Now, it’s your time to decide how to implement flexible working conditions to build sustainable workplaces.