6 Things To Include In Your Work From Home Policy
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work and a work from home policy have exploded at the workplace, and it’s not hard to see why. Working from home is a trend that continues to grow, as opposed to being a fad like many thought it would be. Several companies have established permanent policies allowing their employees to work from home, including big-name brands such as Amazon and Shopify.
But what exactly should you include in it? And how should you go about implementing these policies? Working from home or remotely doesn’t have to mean going rogue. It’s good for your business and you. But, you’ve got to stay on top of some details if you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. And in this article, we’re going to show you how.
The benefits of having a work from home policy
First, let’s look at the benefits of having a work-from-home policy.
Saves time and money
It is not surprising that commute time can contribute significantly to lost work time in a traditional office setting. The average American commute is more than 52 minutes each day. Even though it may not affect everyone, employees who live far from their offices also have to pay out of pocket for fuel, car maintenance and spend countless hours in traffic daily.
The convenience of working at home reduces the amount of time and money employees would normally waste working in a physical setting.
If you allow employees to work from home when they are feeling sick, they will be less likely to spread illness to other members of the team. The result is a more productive and healthier team. Cold and flu seasons, as well as rare pandemics such as COVID-19, are very effective at demonstrating the impact of this trend.
A healthier workforce = a more productive workforce!
Better work/life balance
With a work from home policy, your employees can finally have time for their kid’s dance recital, doctor’s appointment, or that lunch date they’ve been putting off. It allows them to have a better social life and allows them to make time for any personal or family obligations they may have. Many remote workers have adequate time to adopt hobbies as well! After all, employees who are happy in other parts of their life tend to show up better at work. And who doesn’t want that?
Things to include in your work from home policy
It is important that you set certain rules and guidelines when it comes to implementing a work-from-home policy. Here are 6 things you should include in it.
An eligibility criteria
It is important to clearly state in your policy who is eligible to work from home unless it is mandatory due to a health crisis like COVID-19. After all, not all jobs can be performed remotely.
Teams need to be grouped into those that can work remotely and those that are better suited to being in person. Manufacturing teams, for example, will likely have to stay on-site, while sales teams could work remotely. You can let department managers decide on which site or combination of sites will work best for their teams. When onboarding new employees to the workforce, it may be beneficial to bring them in person. However, with the right tools, this can be achieved remotely too!
Furthermore, you can establish eligibility criteria such as allowing employees who have been with the company for more than six months to work from home.
The approval process
When you establish eligibility criteria, you should clearly outline the personnel and approval process as well. Employees should know how to request work from home privileges, who will approve, and when they will be approved.
Set a mode of communication
While working from home, you won’t just be able to walk to someone’s desk and strike up a conversation with them. All communication will take place through digital channels – email, texts, messaging, video, etc.
Many apps are available on the market that allow you to stay in touch with your employees throughout the day. These team communication apps are already widely popular — you may already be familiar with Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Workspace. You should set up multiple channels of communication and define when to use which one. Video is ideal for group meetings, for example.
Monitor their performance
It’s important to determine how you’ll track your employee’s productivity in a remote work environment. Time logs may be an obvious choice, but they show the overall time an employee spent on a task, not their overall performance. Hence, you need to determine which metrics are most important for your business and keep track of them accordingly. Work progress can be visualized by tracking completed tasks or utilizing a task-management platform.
Here’s a quick tip: we recommend using Trello to keep track of your tasks and cross them off as needed. Kanban-style boards are super easy to work with, and are visually appealing too!
Allocate specific working hours
You should clearly indicate when employees are expected to work and when they should call it a day. In addition, you may want to set a total number of hours (for instance, eight hours per day for employees.)
Most likely, a company will establish a range of working hours (i.e., employees are expected to be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Ideally, this should mirror your normal office workday, which will vary by team. You can also provide employees and managers with the option of determining working hours on a case-by-case basis, based on the employee’s responsibilities and the manager’s preference.
Outline technical requirements
Working from home means that your employees will rely completely on technology to get all their work done. In some cases, employers may require their employees to have particular technology — software, internet speed, personal computers — in order to be eligible for remote work. You should outline any technical requirements that require employees to plan ahead so that they can work from home. Many employers also give their employees a monthly stipend to help cover these expenses, or supply them with the necessary technology to get their work done.
Just consider these 6 important factors while making your work from home policy, and you’ll be on your way to having the best remote work experience of all time. Good luck!