We’ve had a few clients ask us about remote worker policies. We view this as an HR issue with possible legal implications, so you’ll want to seek advice appropriate to your firm. We’ve all had to relax the standards around eligibility and physical environment during Covid, but the policies around attendance and security still apply. Here’s some food for thought if you have yet to implement a remote work policy.
Working from home is a privilege and may be allowed in some circumstances subject to the following guidelines. If your supervisor approves your working from home on a particular day instead of being present in the office, you must comply with the following guidelines:
- Eligibility Not all positions are eligible for working remotely. If your position involves frequent or important interaction with other employees or clients, it may not be possible or practical for you to successfully work remotely. If you are unable to work at your normally assigned position and time, working from home must be pre-approved by your direct supervisor.
- Availability If you are working remotely, you must maintain the same level of availability to our customers and fellow employees as if you are present in the office. If for some reason you are not or will not be equally available, you will not be permitted to count that time as hours worked.
- Responsiveness Your responsiveness to chats, emails, and phone calls must be the same as if you are present in our office. Open and frequent communications are preferred.
- Schedule You should, unless otherwise pre-approved, by the company, dedicate your full attention to your job duties during working hours. Adhere to your normal break and attendance schedules. You should try to ensure your schedule overlaps with those of your team members for as long as is necessary to complete their job duties effectively.
- Productivity Measurements It is important that the work done remotely be largely equivalent to office work, and the company may more closely measure work activity when you are working remotely, these standards are dependent on your role within the company, but may include things such as tickets closed, projects completed, or hours logged against tasks.
- Equipment Employees who voluntarily elect to work from home are responsible for providing the necessary computer equipment, furniture, internet access, and telephone while working from home. Equipment must be safe, secure, and reliable. Except in extraordinary pre-approved circumstances, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of providing this equipment or furniture.
- Physical Environment You must provide a quiet, comfortable, and distraction-free environment when working remotely. Your home office environment should meet or exceed the same standards as provided to you at our offices. When speaking on the phone, it is important that our clients do not hear noises in the background from animals, other people, children, or other noises not present at the office.
- Security Computers must run commercial anti-virus, anti-malware, and firewall software approved by the company. Computers used for work should not be shared by other household members. Your work environment must maintain the same level of client confidentiality as maintained when working in the office.
We’re actually encouraging people to take breaks, get up, go outside, get some sunshine, exercise, and checking in on their basic health. Find ways to encourage good mental and physical health however you can.