Our guidelines to create a safe, inclusive and successful work-from-home policy
Creating a successful work-from-home (WFH) policy for employees requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. Here are some tips for businesses to help set up an effective WFH policy:
Understand the Legal and Compliance Requirements:
- Consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with labour laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.
- Consider tax implications for remote employees in different locations.
Define Eligibility Criteria:
- Determine which roles or employees are eligible/able to WFH based on their job responsibilities, performance, and other relevant factors.
Establish Clear Expectations:
- Define work hours, availability, and response times.
- Specify how employees should communicate (e.g., through email, chat tools, video calls).
- Outline performance metrics and goals for remote workers.
Technology and Equipment:
- Provide necessary hardware, software, and secure network access.
- Ensure employees have access to IT support for technical issues.
- Provide health and safety manuals or checks for employees to ensure their WFH set up is safe.
- Implement cybersecurity measures to protect company data.
- Require the use of VPNs, strong passwords, and regular software updates.
- Educate employees on security best practices.
Communication and Collaboration Tools:
- Select and provide tools that facilitate remote teamwork (e.g., video conferencing, project management, instant messaging).
- Establish guidelines for handling and sharing sensitive information.
- Ensure compliance with data protection laws (e.g., GDPR, HIPAA).
- Develop a system for remote performance assessments.
- Regularly check in with remote employees to provide feedback and address concerns.
Flexible Work Hours:
- Consider flexible schedules to accommodate different time zones or personal preferences.
- Ensure employees are reachable during core working hours.
Mental Health and Well-being:
- Promote employee well-being through resources like mental health support, wellness programs, and ergonomic equipment.
- Determine which expenses (e.g., internet, office supplies) the company will reimburse.
- Establish a clear reimbursement process.
Training and Onboarding:
- Provide training on remote work tools and protocols for new and existing employees.
- Offer ongoing support and resources for remote workers.
Feedback and Adaptation:
- Seek feedback from employees to continually improve the WFH policy.
- Be flexible and adapt the policy as needed to address changing circumstances.
Inclusivity and Equity:
- Ensure that remote work opportunities are available to all eligible employees.
- Address potential disparities in access or treatment.
- Develop contingency plans for unexpected disruptions (e.g., power outages, internet issues).
- Communicate emergency procedures to remote employees.
- Foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie through virtual team-building activities and social interactions.
- Draft a comprehensive WFH policy document that outlines all the above points, and ensure employees read and acknowledge it.
Review and Revise Regularly:
- Periodically review the WFH policy to ensure it remains effective and aligned with the organisation's goals and changing circumstances.
Remember that every organisation is unique, so tailor your WFH policy to your specific needs and culture while keeping legal and ethical considerations in mind. Regularly assessing and adjusting the policy will help ensure its continued success.