The COVID-19 pandemic has made businesses shift the way they work. All across the world, many firms have resorted to remote working. For some organizations, the shift to working from home has been abrupt.
When the dust settles, companies will need to sit down and formulate work-from-home (WFH) policies to guide their operations to ensure their teams maintain their productivity and smooth operations.
Learn how to create an effective work-from-home policy for your business.
Guide to Creating an Effective Work-From-Home Policy
Before creating a WFH policy for your business, it is important to know what you’d like to accomplish. The policy should outline the expectations of the company. It should be included in the Employee Handbook and revised in line with the evolving needs of your company.
Here are some questions that your WFH policy should address:
What Is the Purpose of the Policy?
A WFH policy should clearly indicate what the business wishes to achieve by offering employees remote working opportunities. Ultimately, the policy should be aligned with the core values of your business and improve your employee performance and experience.
What Areas Does the Policy Cover?
Define the scope of the work-from-home policy. Outline the areas of your business that are eligible for remote working. Here, you’ll want to consider things such as software limitations, client-facing responsibilities, and cybersecurity risks.
Outlining the areas that the policy covers will show which WFH requests may not be feasible.
What Is the Request Approval Process?
What steps should employees follow when they want to request WFH time?
Outline the whole process to be followed, from qualifications to formal submissions. If written requests will be required, whom should they be addressed to?
Who Is in Charge of Approvals?
Designate the office or manager who will be in charge of approving WFH requests. Ideally, the managers should be working closely with the employees and should know whether they will be capable of handling their work responsibilities at home.
When Can Employees Be Allowed to Work from Home?
Decide whether remote working will be an integral part of your work culture or an option for some. Decide if you can have specific WFH days or if employees request for remote working opportunities as needed. If remote work is optional, outline when it can be granted.
Depending on your business, working from home may not be feasible. For example, when you have a scheduled staff meeting or during peak sales season, remote working could hamper performance.
What Are the Expected Working Hours?
While working from home is a perk that most employees will be looking forward to, make it clear about the expected performance. For example, state whether there are specific hours when employees will be expected to be at work. The time can be uniform or may have to be decided on a case by case basis, depending on how critical an employee’s work is to the organization.
How Will Communication Be Handled?
To prevent a decline in productivity and communication, establish clear communication guidelines to be followed when employees are working remotely. What are the tools they should be using for communication? How can they be easily reached?
What About Technology Support and Requirements?
Some employees may require access to specific technologies when working from home. Do they have the right software, internet connection, and computers to enable them to carry out their duties without disruption?
In your WFH policy, indicate the tech requirements that define the eligibility for remote working.
What Are the Productivity and Performance Expectations?
Productivity and performance should also be touched on in the policy. Working from home should not be a reason for declined productivity.
Clearly outline the performance and productivity expectations of employees that will be working remotely. Managers should come up with specific metrics to gauge the performance of employees working remotely.
The Coronavirus pandemic has made many businesses direct their employees to work remotely. Businesses must take steps right away to come up with effective work-from-home policies that will complement their operations and maintain productivity.