The importance of telecommuting for employees cannot be underestimated. According to McKinsey research, 87% of employees choose “flexible working” whenever possible.
He believes that telecommuting is here to stay and therefore companies must ensure that their telecommuting arrangements are managed fairly and in such a way that the legal risk to the company and employees are as low as possible.
An important part of this, perhaps the most important, is the implementation of a remote work policy. Since my company works almost exclusively with remote teams, they have repeatedly seen many different remote work programs. They’ve seen what works – and what doesn’t. After that, they compiled a list of the dos and don’ts of your telecommuting policy.
A telecommuting policy is a set of principles and rules that outline the prospects of both the employer and the employees while working. The telecommuting policy’s purpose is two-fold: it protects both the employer and employees from indirect legal liabilities arising from telecommuting.
Second, it makes the “how” of remote work transparent and fair so employees know where they stand. While the exact details of remote work practices will depend on your due diligence, the size of your business, and applicable laws, there are some general considerations about remote work practices in general.
Transparency on the Eligibility of Remote Work
Telecommuting should not be granted arbitrarily at the manager’s discretion. Work capacity must always be related to the actual conditions of the part (e.g. maintenance workers must come and do their part, while this does not apply to software engineers). Treating telecommuting as a discretionary privilege for some workers takes away all those who don’t have that access.
An Employee Must Inform the Manager When They Wish to Work from Any Other Location
In general, labor laws are regional. If the employees are in a certain location for a long time, they are often covered by the labor laws that apply there. This creates significant legal penalties for employers. For example, is the employer obligated to pay workers’ compensation if an employee is injured while working in another country? If not, serious problems can arise if a workplace injury occurs.
Legal Document for Remote Policy is Required
In some countries, such support is a legal requirement. But if this is not the case, it is a good idea to practically include remote work agreements in your policy. A telecommuting contract is a good way to get a person to sign up for the issues in the telecommuting policy, freeze liability and record any individual variations.
Don’t Micromanage Remote Employees
With telecommuters working out of sight, some employers can tend to be too direct and micromanage. For example, they can use remote tracking software to monitor what employees are doing at all times. Not only is this generally ineffective, but it also reminds us that we still have a busy job market. Employees quickly find another job where they feel under constant surveillance and critique.
Don’t Neglect Cybersecurity and Personal Data Risks
There are always cybersecurity lapses in telecommuting due to the use of potentially dangerous home network connections. Your policy should include clear rules about how VPNs and password management. Your company should also consider whether it needs to provide secure laptops to all employees who work from home.