Thanks to the improvements in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies than ever have shifted to full or hybrid work-from-home schedules. While there are many benefits to remote work (for employees and managers alike), questions about conduct while at home are likely to come up on both sides. If you need help crafting a telework policy for your Indianapolis organization, the staffing experts at That’s Good HR are here to help with these tips.
Distributing a telework policy
Ideally, you should offer a telework policy memo to any staff member before they begin working from home either full time or on a hybrid schedule. If you have had a number of employees shift to remote work recently or during the pandemic, it’s still not too late to craft a telework policy for their reference. While many of the items in your policy are likely to be “common sense” or may have already been addressed informally, it is still helpful to have a written document moving forward.
Outline telework schedules
Your employees’ telework policy should include the times and days of the week that they are expected to be present for remote work and a reminder that all workplace policies remain in place during these times. If you have staff on varied hybrid schedules or shifts, make sure that they have their expected “online” times in writing. Most importantly, teleworkers should be expected to be fully available and communicative during their established work hours.
Equipment and internet access
If you are providing your remote workers with any equipment, such as a laptop, separate landline/cell phone or any other office supplies, make sure to detail these items in your telework policy. Office equipment should only be used for work purposes, and should not be shared with family or friends.
Especially if your employees are dealing with high-level client or business information, security from home should also be maintained through regular password updates and locking computers when away from their desks. Those working from home are generally also expected to maintain access to high-speed internet during work hours, and the company’s comfortability with employees working in cafes or other locations should be clearly stated.
Conduct while working from home
Teleworkers are expected to behave at home the same way they would in the office, including maintaining a safe and quiet workspace with the consumption of alcohol not permitted during work hours. If your office hosts frequent virtual meetings with colleagues or clients, make sure to list your expectations for teleworkers. Most companies highly encourage employees to turn on their video, but it does need to be required. Usually, casual dress is acceptable with discretion i.e. no pajamas or other clothing you would not normally wear to the office. Teleworkers should keep distractions to a minimum in order to give full attention as if the meeting were in person.
Speaking of distractions, what about others in the home? The presence of dependents or children in the home is generally not completely prohibited, but employees should not be frequently engaging in the care of others during working hours. Most companies expect teleworkers to have childcare arrangements in place while performing work duties, but offering flexibility during school closure or illnesses will go a long way in improving employee engagement.
If you are looking to hire at your Indianapolis company (either remote or in-person) contact That’s Good HR today at 317-469-4141 for help! We’d love to use our strategic staffing solutions to match you with the best person for the unique needs of your organization.