Your Company: The Best Workplace at Home
In recent decades, since Internet access became common in almost every home and business, there has been a growing trend toward remote work. There are a variety of jobs that are done remotely, and most likely, from this coronavirus health crisis, many companies invest a large part of their resources in making remote work as productive as possible.
As Philip Piletic explains in his article in Keap: “In fact, by 2017, Gallup polling indicated that 43% of American workers spent all or part of their time working remotely, and that number was rising every year.” Another survey by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics shows that remote work has increased by 159% in the last 12 years worldwide, and the trend continues to grow.
To face this new reality, highly successful companies improve by developing a remote work policy. To help you with this task, here are the key points that any effective remote work policy should include.
Choose carefully the works to be done remotely
First, decide which workers can do which jobs remotely. Choose what part of their work should be done with supervision and what part they can do offline.
Also, include in your document the new roles within the company. Usually, the person who was previously the team leader in the office would supervise the work carried out. Establish how he should help his teammates to make the transition to the new way of work more manageable.
Schedule and availability
Although it seems logical to you that those who work in front of a screen can do it for 4 or 6 hours (or even 8) without interruptions, consider the following… Many people are not used to working at home. For example, you should consider a mother who must take care of her children at the same time since her husband works abroad.
Think of all these possibilities when creating your remote work policy. Remember that it is always better to have your employees satisfied and not overworked. Better work approaches can make the process enjoyable.
Show them that you think about them and give them a flexible schedule. The best way to know what they think about office hours is to do a survey and see what they can contribute as solutions. It is very likely that if you consider their opinions and include them to determine their schedules, they will thank you by being more focused and efficient at these chosen times.
Although everyone nowadays has at least one computer at home, it is very likely that it does not include half the programs that a worker needs to carry out his work remotely. The simple fact of having to use a program like Zoom or Go To Meeting for virtual meetings can create tensions in your company.
You should include detailed instructions on how to download, configure and use the basic programs that each member of your team needs. Help them at all times! Think that it depends on your ability to provide solutions and help that your company goes ahead.
Don’t forget to add a section on how your employees should take care of the physical equipment your company gives them.
Example: not accessing websites other than [list of websites] and not downloading any material that is not specified by the company’s remote work policy.
As Philip Piletic underlines: “With the cybersecurity risks associated with remote workers greater than ever before, it’s a policy decision that could affect the very survival of the business.”
Next, define the basic guidelines for working efficiently. Here you must include if your employees can access social networks and during what time of day.
You need to establish periods in which each one focuses on an individual work without interruptions by the others and another schedule in which part of the team or all connect to exchange opinions on the job done.
Be realistic and don’t set your goals too high or you’re going to burn your team down. What they will do if they are not satisfied is look for ways to elude the rules you impose on them.
Finally, make sure your remote work policy encourages employee feedback and suggestions. If they do not want to tell you anything, it is because they are afraid to communicate their needs.
It is essential to include in your remote work policy that in a particular moment, the company may decide to stop remote work when required. This point must be very clear since some workers get used to the type of job and do not understand that this way of working can only be temporal.
If you do not make this point clear, you can create needless confrontation when the company needs to make changes to readjust.
Closing the door where each of your employees works may be evident, but it can save you from information leaks.
Imagine you are talking about something vital with the technical team supervisor and an Amazon messenger is giving a package to your husband. He hears a few words of the conversation through the open door and understands them his way to spread the word of a disaster in your company.
Well, this could be avoided by including in your remote work policy details such as closing the door. As Alex Laws explains in CI Security: “This is Security 101: if you bring your work computer home or tend to work remotely, confidential corporate information could be at risk. When you get in the habit of always locking your doors, you have taken a key step toward improving your home office’s security.”
Including these points, you already have the foundation to start with your remote work policy document. Be flexible! If you see that something does not work, erase it! If not essential, of course.
Consider everything that arises along the way and above all, involve your staff to develop a document that pleases everyone and makes your company the best workplace at home!