The inclination of the employers towards enabling greater work from home opportunities was evident even before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It forced everyone to follow the lockdown restrictions. In the past couple of years, more employers were looking into a viable work from home policy 2020. It aligns with the company culture, and employees are completely supportive of it.
In fact, 37% of the employees are ready to accept even a 10% pay cut to continue to follow a work from home policy. The employers couldn’t be more ready to make this happen as reports suggest that more than a third of full-time workers are expected to work remotely in ten years.
But, as any employer would invariably agree, setting up regulations for remote work is remarkably different from having rules and standards for the office.
So, before setting up the work from home policy in 2020 for your business, take a look at the top 7 features of the policy. Then follows, why you should follow a work from home policy in 2020.
Availability of employees
Do you want your employees to have the opportunity to work from anywhere during or beyond the pandemic crisis?
If so, then you need to state your availability expectations in the policy in order to save it from any kind of breach in the near future.
You can make it absolutely mandatory for them to be present from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Or you can let your employees have a flexible work schedule. Ensure sure that you outline the clause in the policy.
Setting availability requirements right from the beginning in your work from home policy will eliminate the probability of misunderstanding between your employees in the future.
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Requirements for work positions
Not every job position is suitable to go for remote working and some organizations might not have any position for remote jobs at all.
In such scenarios, it is important for every organization to mention each and every clause from the beginning about the possibilities of availability of a work position. This will eliminate any future inquiries, requests, or indifferences about working from home.
However, if you’re in a position to let a section of your employees work remotely, state that in your employment contract as well. Carefully analyze your operating model and decide on the work that can be done outside the office. Setting rules before is better than regretting tomorrow.
Measurement of Productivity
The work from home policy in 2020 needs to specify the way you will measure the productivity of the employees. The way we used to work is going to be different after the pandemic.
You have a couple of ways to measure their productivity. You can take into account the number of projects handled, time spent on particular projects, the number of client exchanges, and so on. The important thing here is to focus on the outcome of your work from home policy, and not the number of hours spent.
Responsiveness of employees
When we work remotely, responsiveness can turn out to be a major issue if the expectations regarding communication are not clarified from the onset.
So, lay down the ground rules for response time and modes of communication. It will lead to a healthy relationship between the supervisors and employees as nobody will have issues about being left in the dark or productivity concerns.
On-site tech support is offered in almost all companies, but remote tech support is something that most companies are yet to address. It will be helpful if you can offer tech support even remotely and outline what the employees should do when they have technical difficulties.
Technical glitches can occur anytime, but it is important to have a plan of action to ensure that the work goes on smoothly without a halt.
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An important part of your work from home policy 2020 in the times of pandemic should be stating the tools you are willing to offer the employees to help in completing their work.
- Are the employees expected to have their personal laptops or computers? Point it out in the contract.
- Do they need to have an internet service that meets a particular speed requirement?
- What are the video conferencing apps or other tools that need to be present on their computers? List it all out.
It is your responsibility to make sure that there is no ambiguity regarding the equipment they need to work remotely for your company. Specify everything in the work from home policy.
Many organizations have an issue about where the employees are working from when they are working remotely. Of course, that is completely understandable because you might have safety concerns for the employees and also your own database.
When employees are working from the office, you could generally assume that it’s a safe environment. After all, there are systems in place to monitor CO2 levels and proper protocols to detect a break-in or a fire. In fact, you also have all the cybersecurity measures taken to protect the critical data for your company.
But, suppose an employee is working from the nearest café to his place using the Wi-Fi of that place. You can’t really be sure about the safety of the connection. Specify, if your employees are allowed to work from anywhere and what could be possible scenarios where they can do that.
So, there has to be a clear mention of the physical environment where you want your employees to work.
Lastly, you need to address the matter of maintaining client confidentiality in the policy, as well. There is no denying the fact that it is easier to keep the information confidential in the protected workspace.
So, for instance, your employee is having a client call sitting in a café. It should be the responsibility of the employee to make sure that no sensitive information is discussed out loud in such a public setting.
However, you cannot simply rely on your employees to ensure that this never happens. They can make that client call from anywhere they want if it isn’t stated otherwise in the policy.
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A work from the home policy can be highly attractive to job seekers or employees looking to maintain a work-life balance. Employers aiming to extend their workforce beyond regional boundaries are also actively looking forward to it. Moreover, it enhances productivity, reduces employee attrition, and brings down the overall operating cost of the business. However, to gain all these benefits from your remote working policy, you have to make sure that it ticks all the boxes mentioned above.
In the times of pandemic, COVID-19, it has become a challenge to work from home due to countless problems that one can face at home. How to maintain a balanced work from home culture is something, we all need to learn.
If work from home culture is not a solution, how the post-coronavirus world is going to be, is a universal question.
Connect with us for all your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop down your comment below. Until then, let’s stay safe and avoid even the smallest social gathering. We all are together in this.