A remote work checklist can help you make sure that your off-site employees have everything they need to work comfortably. After working outside the office for a whole year, many companies have been switching to a "hybrid work model" where they divide workers into groups based on their position and their role. This way, some employees remain at the office while others can work from their homes (or anywhere else, if they'd like to, and the company's remote work policy allows it).
We’re all familiar with an office essentials list. However, when it comes to off-site employees, things are different. That’s when employers should take into account diverse remote work considerations to make sure that everything is going accordingly. Here we take into account elements like the work from home stipend and the ergonomic assessment of the workstation.
One thing is for sure, and it is that remote work isn’t going anywhere. After all, more companies have been expanding their remote work policies indefinitely, including enterprises like Amazon. With all this information, are you sure that your company has the right remote work policy checklist?
Remote Work Requirements: Checklist for the Off-site Office
Work from home vs. office is a debate that will take us nowhere as of now. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are likely to continue with this approach for their business as some employees prefer working from home, while others would like to remain at the office.
This way, it is important for you, as an employer, to make sure that your company is complying with all the legal and practical requirements as you continue managing a remote workforce.
1. Remote Work Policy
Remote work policies are different in all workplaces, as they all have different approaches to the same thing. These documents are also known as "Telecommuting Agreements," containing all the terms you would like to clarify regarding off-site work. For instance, this policy should include the following terms:
- The roles within the organization chart that are eligible for remote work.
- It should specify if remote work is temporary or permanent. It should also clarify whether it is “ongoing” or “partial” (for instance, working off-site during Mondays and Wednesdays, the rest of the week they’ll be required to attend the workplace).
- It should contain the company’s performance expectations for remote workers.
- Other important points may include revised job responsibilities, wage-and-hour compliance, whether the office will provide the employee with certain equipment and work-from-home accessories or not, and so on.
2. Communication procedures
Remote work communication can be quite complicated at times. Thus, it is important for companies to equilibrate it. For instance, if you over communicate, you're more likely to contribute to your employees' stress, while not communicating with them frequently will leave them feeling isolated from the rest of the team.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations about how you can communicate with someone that’s not present at the workplace, especially if your company offers flexible schedules.
A good approach to this is asynchronous communication. It consists in communicating with someone "out of sync." It allows you to get in touch with your employees at the right time without overwhelming them. It doesn't take into account the time but still allows the exchange of important information between both parts. Great examples of this can be emails.
There are tons of tools out there that allow you to follow an asynchronous communication model as part of your remote work checklist while working in a remote workplace simultaneously. Monday.com, RingCentral, and Slab are some of the many you can find on the internet.
3. Software solutions
This is one of the vital components in the remote work checklist. The previous point mentioned something important: remote work tools. It is essential for an employer to provide their employees with appropriate virtual workplace software. It is beneficial for both parties:
- As an employer, an appropriate virtual workplace software will allow you to keep track of your off-site and on-site employees at the same time. You will be able to communicate with everyone on the team, schedule meetings, and so on.
- As an employee, you will be able to work at your own pace while keeping in touch with the rest of the team. All your tasks, files, and other necessary resources will be in the same place, leaving you more room for organization.
Cannot miss this in your remote work checklist. Once you’ve implemented an appropriate software solution, it is time to figure out how you will keep the virtual workplace safe. It is hugely important for you to store your organizational data securely, especially because none of this information is linked to a network or device.
Sorting out the security issues that may arise in the future is one of the first things you need to do before going full-remote. This way, you will ensure that your company's data will always be safe because everything is possible, and "accidents" do happen.
It's not only about software, though. You should also speak with your employees and educate them on good security practices. For instance, you can give them recommendations like enabling two-factor authentication or changing their passwords frequently. Needless to say, remind them that they shouldn't share their passwords with anyone.
5. Setting up the home office
Most people don't have an office in their homes. Even if they're very enthusiastic at first about working off-site, the first days can be tough if they don't have an appropriate home office environment. After all, our houses are meant to be safe places where we can relax.
This doesn’t have to be such a complicated struggle, though. As an employer, you can make this transition a lot easier by helping your remote employees build their home office. For instance, you can provide them with monetary support for devices (laptop, computer) or furniture, as well as internet services.
In your remote work policy, you should specify the expenses that the organization is willing to cover for the employees.
This way, your employees will find it easier to adapt to this new working model and will also avoid feeling "burnout" too often due to a bad office setup and a poor environment for work-related tasks.
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