It sounds like an simple task, but in reality, many businesses are not prepared with policies that will allow their employees to work from home effectively. Most companies recognize the impacts that telecommuting can have on the corporate sustainability by giving employees a way to cut their carbon emissions. But it can be difficult to allow workers to telecommute if they’ve never done it before and your business doesn’t have a remote work policy in place.
By having a clear, consistent formal remote work policy, you can help reduce anxiety and conflict between employees and management. But what should be in your policy?
Momentum has put together 5 tips for building a remote work policy that works.
1. Equipment. If you plan to provide remote workers with the equipment they will need to work from home, it’s important to define the rules as to how the equipment should be used. For example, can employees load non-work software on their laptops? Can equipment be used by non-employees?
2. Reimbursable expenses. Having a remote work policy can introduce new reimbursement expenses. Eliminate any questions by defining very clearly what will be reimbursed and what will not.
3. Office rules. Even though remote employees are not physically in the office, they still need to adhere to all relevant rules outlined in the employee handbook. For example, if your business devices policies concerning work-related electronic communication, these rules continue to be applicable.
4. Termination. It is important to include a section with reasons a remote work agreement can be terminated. Also, if a remote worker leaves the company, it should outline the protocol for the steps needed prior to exit including equipment return, data removal and possibly home office inspection.
5. Data Security. When employees are working from home, work data can sometimes be more vulnerable because they’re often working off of the secure office system. Create guidelines remote staff must follow to ensure that sensitive business data is not lost or exposed.
To make things a little easier, Momentum has created a telecommuting policy template that is ready for download.
Check out our sample policy and see if it can help fit your employees’ telecommuting needs. And make the pledge to work from home and support our green earth initiative.
By: Dana Jaffe