The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses worldwide to allow their employees work from home. This has opened up new possibilities for businesses on how they can continue or restructure their business operations at the same time, prioritise employee health and wellbeing. Plus, it helps in enhancing employee productivity, reducing the operational costs and improving employee’s work-life balance.
After getting the first-time experience and learning the pros and cons of “home working” during the coronavirus pandemic, more and more employers are looking at “remote working” as a regular option and not just for emergency situations. This may even turn into a hybrid model to be even more productive where it’s required for face to face (F2F) meetings for a few days and remaining work carried out remotely from home. Of course, these WFH working models may not fit every sector or industry.
As we see a tremendous rise in remote working, many tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon etc have already announced that they want their employees to work from home till summer 2021.
This also opens up a need for creating a formal policy to manage the entire remote working process with a vision to establish a healthy working culture. A well-defined “Work from Home policy” that is tailored as per company’s requirements to ensure that remote working is beneficial for both employer and employees.
What is Work From Home (WFH) Policy?
It’s an agreement between an employer and employees who prefer working from home. This can be executed based on case to case basis or a normal working option (if an employer provides that). The policy clearly defines how an employee can work from home, what should they be doing during their work, what is expected out of them, how they should communicate and report, what facilities or benefits they can avail etc.
Why Work From Home Policy is Important?
It’s very important that “work from home policy” is very clear and self-explanatory to avoid any confusion among employees, address larger issues while working remotely, empowers them to work freely, enhance trust and eliminate business risks.
Hence, it is vital that every employee creates a WFH policy for their employees so that everyone is on the same page and set up for success!
What should be included in Work From Home Policy?
Like any other company’s policy, WFH policy should be detailed enough to make it successful and effective. It should act as a guide for both management and employees working from home.
The policy clearly defines the policy objective, eligibility, how-to request, approval procedure, responsibilities, expectations, technology requirements, communication guidelines, compensation, other benefits etc that an employee has to adhere to.
Employees need to sign to acknowledge they have read thoroughly and agrees to fully abide the terms and conditions mentioned inside the policy.
How to create a WFH Policy?
Here is a brief outline that can be used as a reference to create a Work From Home Policy for your business:
- Set the purpose clearly on why you are creating this policy
- Identify all those departments and roles where remotely working is possible
- Mention about all existing rules and company policies that employees still need to follow along with new ones mentioned inside WFH policy.
- Outline each employee’s roles and responsibilities based on designation, working schedule, communication methods, tools & technologies, reporting protocols and approval mechanism for smooth functioning
- Prepare checklists of do’s and don’ts while working remotely from home explaining it with examples.
- Mention about procedures for getting technical support, reimbursements, handling confidential and sensitive data and critical issues escalation that can affect business productivity.
- Make home working expectations clear. How can you prove staff are working hard from home? Put in place key performance indicators if required.
What are the key benefits of WFH Policy?
As an employee allowing your employees to work remotely and having a right WFH policy in place can be beneficial in below ways:
- Hire a global talent: You can build your dream team by hiring a best talent around the world
- Save money on office space: Now, you don’t need an office space for your employees to work. Plus, save on operational and maintenance costs.
- No computer & travel related expenses: As employees would work from home, you don’t need to buy computers, networking, peripherals items etc or provide travelling allowances, if that’s the part of cost to company (CTC).
- High retention ratio: While working from comfort of their home, employees will enjoy flexible work schedules, better work-life balance with a high degree of job satisfaction. Hence, less chances of quitting a job.
- Increase in productivity: By working from home, employees will focus more on work and less on office politics, be more creative, get more time to focus on their health and more importantly enjoy the freedom to deliver more.
Happy remote working!