Advanced information and communication technologies have changed the world of work forever. They’ve led to many policy changes—email etiquette, video conferencing tools, social media use guidelines, and even internet access agreements are all commonplace in today’s office environments.
Another major change has been the ability to work remotely. Employees can now connect to work from almost anywhere in the world. Whether they’re working from home or connecting from the floor of a sales conference halfway across the world, many employees can and do work remotely on a regular basis. And now, with the prevention and safety regulations during this time in managing the spread of COVID-19, being able to ensure your remote work policy is adjusting and working as we all work together, is very important.
Right now, it's important to establish and continue to modify your internal remote work policy. If you’re just introducing a remote work policy or revising an older policy, consider these three features to ensure an effective remote work policy.
1. Equipment and Data Security
One of the most important things to address in your remote employee work policy is the equipment they’ll use when they’re working. You may not require the employee to have the latest MacBook Pro or the newest iPhone, but you should lay some ground rules about the equipment that they are able to use, or that you are providing as an organization. Do they need to have access to a printer, or scanner? What software will they need, and which versions should they use and how will the licenses be upgraded or provided to each employee? Ensuring that all monitors, tablets or laptops, and any other device is set up and ready for your team to use properly and efficiently is important.
Data security is another concern that needs to be addressed. Changing passwords for online portals for each team member, logging into secure portals via VPN may also be required. You may ask your employees to be sure they use only web chat apps with encryption features. You might even ask employees to obtain separate work and personal smartphones. Considering the daily use of online apps, and portals that your employees need to access will help drive your remote work policy, or help make modifications along the way.
The goal is to help create a clear outline to what tools will be needed. Make sure you address these concerns directly in the policy. Support and clarity is of great importance during the changes or implementation of remote working, and that will make sure everyone in your organization can feel confident to continue to do a great while working remotely.
2. Schedules and Expectations
Another key part of your remote employee work policy has to be schedules and expectations. When should your employees start to work or be available - do regular office hours continue to apply?
Make it clear when you expect employees to be available for daily calls. You may also ask employees to ensure they have a dedicated workspace in their homes, separate from other spaces. This may be particularly important if the employee needs to conduct video meetings or attend webinars or give video interviews.
Finally, extend your organization to continue to help and provide information to your employees. If they are requiring additional support when it comes to policy outlines or remote working expectations. Be available and continue to communicate with your team.
Another key point in your remote work policy will come down to expenses. Your policy should make it clear if the expense will fall to you or if it will be the employee’s responsibility for certain non essential items. If the employee needs to upgrade their software or purchase toner for their home office printer, how and when will expenses be paid? If the employee uses a personal cellphone while working remotely, what is the process for expensing their possible overage charges.
You’ll want to think about all of these factors and many more as you revise and review your remote employee work policy to fit the world of work during this time in 2020. Good guidelines will help your employees work from anywhere around the globe successfully, continue to be maintain support for healthy living, and supporting one another.