With so many employees working remotely, it’s time for many businesses to develop a remote workplace policy to deal with challenges effectively.
Here, we’ve outlined why a remote work policy is so important, as well as what you need to include in a remote work policy template that you can use as a starting point for creating your organization’s own guidelines.
Why Your Business Needs a Remote Work Policy
As most employers will find, applying a traditional personnel policy to remote and hybrid staff doesn’t always work seamlessly because the environments and circumstances are so fundamentally different. So, a specific policy is a valuable asset in your managing remote employees toolkit.
Essentially, there are some matters associated with remote work that need to be specifically addressed to ensure clarity for you and each remote employee.
Without this vital document, or at least a remote work policy addition to your current personnel policies, you could be opening up your business to many different kinds of vulnerability.
In any case, a workplace policy is there to protect you and your employees. It can save everyone a lot of miscommunications and misunderstandings.
A Remote Work Policy Template
To help you draft your own guidelines, we’ve developed a sample remote work policy template you can follow and adjust to your company’s specifications.
Let employees know that you are proud to offer them the opportunity to work remotely from home or some other appropriate and secure location.
However, with this opportunity, you want to remind all employees that there are policies and responsibilities, similar to those for on-site workers, with which everyone must comply in the interest of security, productivity and mutual trust.
Let employees know that the purpose of the document is to provide employees with a clear remote work policy so they can maintain strong communication, productivity and security.
The following in this template are the minimum categories that we recommend including in your remote work policy.
Remote Work Eligibility Requirements
With today’s advanced technology, many employees could work from home, but you may not be prepared to have a fully remote workforce.
You might add eligibility requirements to your remote work policy based on what duties are performed in a respective role or expectations from customers or external vendors. Also, consider if eligibility may be revoked in certain circumstances.
Develop standards that are fair for everyone and compliant with labor laws.
Data Security Responsibilities
Security becomes a massive consideration once employees are working remotely full time.
You probably have provided your team with laptops and drives filled with your company’s vital data, so you need to ensure that each employee is prepared to avoid security risks, recognize them if they occur, and understand what to do next if they do.
Work with your IT team or an outsourced provider to set security expectations with your team and control any possible breaches. A professional familiar with your organization will be able to provide the best and most specific guidance for your business in this area, but we recommend at least:
- Training your team to avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks;
- Encouraging physical security of your company’s technology assets; and
- Establishing clear BYOD considerations as part of your remote work policy.
Time Tracking, Overtime and FLSA Compliance
Outside of technology usage, time tracking is probably among the most complex areas of drafting a remote workplace policy. It’s tough to know how many hours employees are actually working when not in the office, and yet, it’s important to trust your team.
If you employ hourly team members, it’s essential to ensure employees track everything precisely and in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Ensure your team members are aware of these guidelines and are prepared to submit their time appropriately, just as they would if they were working from a physical office building.
Communication and Availability Standards
Although employees are working from home and conducting their tasks as needed, they still must be available for communication during their agreed-upon work hours. Define the terms for when employees must respond to calls, texts, emails or other communication, and let them know that it’s a best practice to use video in calls so they can fully interact with their colleagues.
Setting these expectations will help your organization best manage projects and deadlines, and it will allow your team members to manage their own work/life balance.
Worksite Standards for Health and Safety
During the times that your employees are on the clock, you are still responsible for their health and safety and could face legal consequences if they are injured. Because of this, it’s fair to require that employees provide assurance that their remote working conditions are safe and secure.
Finally, require employees to sign the remote work policy to show that they have read and understand your terms.
Go Beyond a Remote Work Policy Template to Create Powerful Remote Work Policies
Our recruiters and talent advisors at Warren Averett Staffing & Recruiting can help you personalize this remote work policy template to your unique needs and ensure that it is effective for you and all of your employees.
With a robust remote work policy, everyone can focus on the tasks at hand, get clear on expectations and be set up for a successful remote work experience.
Schedule a time to chat with us to discuss how we can help you write a remote work policy that suits your company’s standards and guides your employees to stress-free productivity and success.