More and more business have started to give employees the option to work from home on an regular basis. This flexibility allows workers to be home for scheduled visits by a cable technician or for the delivery of important packages, as well as to oversee home maintenance projects without having to miss work. For parents, it can be especially helpful when they need to care for a sick child. Of course, telecommuting has recently become the new reality for millions of workers during the pandemic in 2020.
For much of the workforce, many staff members or even entire companies have been forced to work offsite in 2020, prompting the need for some quick solutions. While this may be a temporary move for some business, now is an excellent time to consider implementing a formal work from home policy for the future.
Seven tips for a successful telecommuting policy
Here are some considerations for creating a successful work from home policy:
- Determine suitable jobs: Some job descriptions require staff to be onsite, while others have more flexibility.
- Choose the right candidates: Some employees may prefer to work in the office, while others can be just as or even more productive when working from home.
- Check for government incentives: There may be programs provided at the state or federal level that will help companies defer the cost of establishing home offices for remote employees.
- Have a trial period: The government may ultimately dictate when businesses legally open or close, but a trial period is useful for determining what works and what does not.
- Management will need to adjust too: Supervisors will need to find effective ways to communicate with all members of the staff.
- Management will need to track results: They will need to monitor workloads and identify areas that need improvement.
- Formally change the policy: It is best to put this in writing so workers understand expectations and can follow proper guidelines.
New policies could benefit the company
There are many documented benefits to working from home, at least on a part-time basis. These include more productive employees and retaining quality workers who like the flexibility. Businesses that employ it successfully often use it as a selling point when recruiting potential employees.
Businesses that wish to formalize their policy may find it helpful to speak with a knowledgeable employment law attorney experienced in drafting employee handbooks. Qualified legal professionals can help ensure that all company policies adhere to applicable state and federal guidelines.