Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced people into temporary working from home conditions, more and more companies were looking to make telecommuting a prevalent option for their employees. If your organization is considering doing the same, you’ll need to establish a clear and concise work from home policy.
Also known as a telecommuting arrangement, this allows employers to set parameters with their employees for working from home. When considering what should be included in a remote work policy, you should take the following into account:
- Who can work from home?
- What is expected of the employee?
- What technology is required?
- What will the company provide?
- How do I monitor employees working from home?
To help get you started, Eddy has compiled a list of suggestions to help your employees make a smooth transition to their home office. You can also go to this work from home policy template to tailor a plan that’s right for your company.
Recognizing Employees Who Can Work from Home
How to create a work from home policy entails understanding and identifying the employees who can realistically work from home.
For example, if a worker has to interact face-to-face with a customer or has to deliver products like food or supplies from one location to another, they’re not eligible to work from home. But employees who primarily work digitally from their computers won’t have a hard time working from home.
You may take other factors into consideration when determining an employee’s eligibility to work remotely, like:
- How long has an employee worked for your company?
- Has the employee proven to be self-motivated?
- Does the employee have access to a distraction-free work environment?
If you don’t want to see a drop in productivity or performance, you should only allow employees who have proven themselves to be dedicated self-managers to work from home.
What Is Expected of the Employee?
Outlining and communicating expectations through a work from home policy pdf will help employees understand what they should keep track of in their day-to-day activities.
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While some flexibility should be allowed, here are some general parameters your employees should be able to operate under:
- Employees should be able to fulfill the same workload at home that they managed when working in the office.
- Employees must complete their full hours (40 hours for full-time, or what was previously assigned for part-time workers).
- Employees need to be available through email or other applicable messaging software during regular office hours.
- Employees must attend scheduled meetings.
Business owners should check in with their employees about these expectations regularly. Depending on the needs of the employee, this could be daily, weekly, or twice a month.
What Technology Is Required?
Required technology should encompass:
- What you’ll use to communicate with your employees, like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts
- The equipment they’ll need to properly perform their tasks
- A wireless internet connection
Establish what software you will use for telecommunication. You may opt for some combination of video conferencing, email, and instant messaging.
Some of your employees may prefer to have extra electronic equipment, like a second computer monitor or a wireless keyboard. Employers are not required to provide office supplies or furnishing for home offices, but it certainly is a nice gesture for employees who will be working from home more often than not.
You may require these extra items to be purchased with their own funds, allow employees to purchase equipment and receive a reimbursement from the company, or you can allow them to bring home the equipment they used in the office.
What Will the Company Provide?
Along with the optional equipment or furniture mentioned above, employers may also provide common office supplies, such as paper, writing utensils, and other items that will enhance a home office.
You may also consider compensating employees for the increased energy costs at their home; while they’re saving money on gas or other travel expenses, they’re spending more on their internet and electricity bills.
Employees who work from home are still eligible for their insurance and benefits packages. However, in-office perks, such as catered lunches, do not need to be replicated for remote workers.
How Do You Monitor Employees Working from Home?
You no longer have the luxury of walking past an employee’s desk to check on their progress. That’s why it’s important to incorporate employee monitoring programs in your work from home policy.
The purpose of monitoring tools isn’t to make you a micromanager—it’s to help keep employees accountable for their work and promote transparency.
There is plenty of software to make remote monitoring a breeze, like:
- Time-tracking, to know what they’re doing and how long it takes them to complete their tasks
- Project-managing applications, to help you keep track of what’s on an employee’s plate
- Online calendars, so you know when they’re in meetings or otherwise occupied
Work with employees to have these applications set up before they begin working from home to avoid unnecessary headaches from technology.
How to Implement a Work From Home Policy
Now that you’ve got all the details set up for your work from home policy, it’s time to get it up and running! The best way to do that is:
- Decide and then announce which employees are eligible to work from home.
- Set up a request and approval system for employees to apply to.
- Use this work from home policy template to tailor a plan that’s perfect for your business.
Eddy was created to help companies and their employees adapt to whatever life throws at them. Learn more about how Eddy can assist your company to succeed and create an amazing working environment.