While many companies had a remote workforce before the pandemic, the majority didn’t have formal remote work policies in place. Millions of people across the globe have been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is apparent that remote working is here to stay long after the crisis is over. Whether you are updating your current remote work policy or creating a new one, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Remote Work Policy?
A remote work policy is a set of guidelines and boundaries that outlines how and when employees can work from home or any other remote location.
Remote work policies communicate the best practices to follow and help the company maintain order and set clear expectations.
Why is a Remote Work Policy Important?
In short, research shows that a work from home policy can reduce your employee turnover by 50%! In addition, according to Gallup, the average cost of replacing an employee ranges from one-half to two times their annual salary. With that said, having a remote work policy is simply good business.
The pandemic over the past year has forced companies to adapt to a remote work environment. With a remote work policy in place, you can help your workforce adapt to a new way of working while setting clear guidelines on how to respond to others and what steps to follow to keep data safe. Here’s how:
- Determine Working Hours for Employees – A remote work policy needs to define availability expectations and working hours and should include: how many hours employees need to work each day and week, what hours employees are expected to be online, if employees need to adhere to specific time zones and if the work schedule is strict or flexible?
- Create an Attendance Policy – A remote work policy should clarify absenteeism as well as how employees are required to track their hours, how to request time off for vacation and procedures for unplanned time off.
- Cybersecurity – People working remotely face different cyber risks to those working on-site. Your policy needs to make people aware of these risks, give guidance on avoiding them, and instructions on what to do if security is compromised. It should include protocols for accessing, changing and transmitting documents, how to access a VPN or another form of security and preferred antivirus software.
- Determine How You Will Track Productivity – Your remote work policy should state the maximum amount of hours an employee can work each week. In addition, your policy should be specific as to how you are going to track performance (time spent on a project, quota, client interactions, etc.).
- Create Clear Communication Guidelines – Consider which types of communication tools and platforms will work best (ie: Slack, Blue Jeans, Zoom), rules around expected response times and how meetings will take place.
- Equipment Requirements – Whether it’s a reliable Wi-Fi connection or a laptop, employees need to know what equipment the company is willing to provide, software required, remote support, etc.
- Termination Procedure – A remote work policy should also outline what happens in the event of an employee’s exit. And should include specifics, such as data removal, equipment return, exit interview, remote access, etc.
The best remote work policy is one that works best for the company and the employees. It is recommended to revisit the policy regularly to make sure all expectations are clearly defined and consistent with your company’s values and culture.
Human Resources management can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are a startup or a growing company with 50+ employees, HRO Resources has the tools you need so you can focus on guiding your team to success.