The ability to work remotely can be a dream come true for employees while simultaneously boosting a company’s bottom line and talent reach. Leveraging the full potential of this work style requires clear and well-defined expectations on both sides of the relationship. A remote work policy provides exactly that.
A good remote work policy is about enabling, not restricting. It doesn’t try to take away the flexibility that accompanies remote employment; instead, it embraces that and enables it by spelling out guidelines for performance – not just of the employee, but of the employer as well.
While every policy is unique to the company that implements it, here are some things all good remote work policies cover:
Attendance – Official work hours may vary from person to person, but spell out what’s expected. Are there particular hours the employee must be available, or is it completely flexible as long as particular deadlines are met or a certain number of hours are completed? How should illnesses or absences be reported and handled?
Equipment – Clearly state who will be providing the necessary equipment. If you provide it, specify rules governing its use. For example, is the employee allowed to install software on the computer? If so, what types of software are permitted? Will the company provide peripherals, such as a printer or is that the employee’s responsibility? Can a developer use the IDE of their choice or must they use the one provided by you? Even though it may seem obvious, it’s a good idea to spell out that the equipment must be exclusively used by the employee.
Data Protection – Provide guidelines to ensure sensitive business data is safe from loss or compromise. This includes data that is stored on a computer and external paperwork. For example, you could specify that privileged information must be kept in a locked filing cabinet and that company work shouldn’t be performed on public wi fi unless using a VPN.
Expenses – Define which expenses are reimbursable and which are not. For example, will the company pay for a dedicated phone line or an internet connection? What about office supplies? Specify a procedure for submitting reimbursable expenses on a regular basis and a reimbursement schedule.
Worker’s Compensation – The policy should point out that worker’s compensation coverage does apply when the employee is working, but not when they’re performing non-work duties or when outside their designated workspace in other areas of their home.
Termination – Even good things can come to an end. What is the protocol to follow if remote employment is ended? This should include steps for the return of equipment and recovery/removal of company data and other assets.
When you have remote employees, implementing a formal remote work policy covering points like these eliminate potentially nebulous aspects of the relationship. By clarifying expectations up front, you can ensure everyone’s on the same page, and dive straight into getting the work done.
DistantJob's unique placement method makes some of the above points moot, of course. As an example, employees that we find you will stick to your company schedule.
But we always advocate flexibility – they are your employees, so you manage them your way. We are, of course, always available to make recommendations – just get in touch and we'll share more about our recruitment and management process, and how we can help you hire better while getting rid of red tape.