Over the last year, many employers had to shift their employees to work from home or from a remote setting. Not surprisingly, many companies did not have a remote work policy in place yet. They had never had any of their staff work outside the office. Now it’s the new norm. While a remote work policy might not have been necessary in the past, it is now. Here’s why.
Without an explicit remote work policy in place, you are putting yourself and your staff at risk. Risk factors for remote work include payroll withholding, tax changes, immigration issues, etc. Having a policy in place will allow you to mitigate some of that risk. Even if you don’t allow for remote work, have a policy in place. It will cover you in the event remote work ever comes up.
If your organization does allow remote work, it needs to be scalable. Remote work policies could impact a large number of your employees. When you have a policy in place, it helps you launch remote work efforts in an organized manner. It will prevent you from having to track any of your employees down or completely reconstruct your work processes.
You need to be perfectly clear about what is allowed and what isn’t when your employees are working from home. Some employees will be excited about working from home. They will need time to get settled, but they should know what the rules are from day one. If you have strict policies regarding logging into the company’s system, make them clear.
Be sure to also be clear about any changes that may be happening to wages or benefits due to the shift to remote work. Include information about how to contact human resources, what the tax implications might be, and be specific about what is not allowed during remote work hours. For instance, some companies have strict rules about using social media on the clock. Establish these expectations by holding meetings with managers and providing training videos.
Another reason you need to have a remote work policy is that it offers more value propositions to your staff. It can help you attract talent because it is a desirable perk. Not to mention, it can also help increase productivity and morale. Your staff will be better rested, have an improved work-life balance, and be more motivated. Your written-out policy provides an outline for what you hope to gain by offering your staff remote work opportunities.
Overall, having a remote work policy will compliment your current hiring strategy. As mentioned above, it will help you attract new talent because it is a very desirable perk for any position. Having a policy in place will help you reach whatever your goals might be for hiring and working with your staff. Whether your plans are to go fully remote or still have your employees come into the office occasionally, a policy is key.
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