12 Steps to Create an Effective Work from Home Policy
In today’s technologically advanced world, there’s a modern and flexible way of doing things. Many companies need a work from home policy to help with message apps, laptops, and WiFi from anywhere.
While people can work from anywhere, it’s important to realize that most people do their best work at the office. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have an employee work from home policy that focuses on collaboration, community, and all the rest.
Ideally, a hybrid workforce can complement the workplace experience. The key here is to use the right work from home policy guidelines to create the best infrastructure to support the home office and reduce pitfalls that happen when employees work outside the office.
What Is a Work from Home Policy?
A work from home policy is the agreement between the employee and employer that clearly defines the responsibilities and expectations of the employee who works from home. It can also define who can be part of the flexible working model, how to request those privileges, and the approval process involved.
Pros and Cons Working at Home
There are many advantages of a hybrid work model and letting employees work at home. With that said, though, you need to have an employee work from home policy set up so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Here are the reasons to consider a work from home policy for the company:
- Signals Trust — You’re building a bond with the employee
- Gives employees more personal time — They no longer have to commute
- Supports focused work — They’re more focused on work without other distractions
- Curtails absenteeism — They can still get a cold or the flu and work
Along with that, there are a few drawbacks, such as:
- Harder to establish boundaries — It can be hard for employees to turn off work and do other things
- Isolation — There’s no social interaction with other coworkers
- Eliminates spontaneous interaction with others — You aren’t going to run into anyone at the watercooler (or have one)
- Comes with various distractions — The employee may have kids and a spouse to deal with
Guide to Create a Work from Home Policy with Samples
The purpose of creating a work from home policy should be to limit risks and promote benefits. That way, you’re setting up the employees to be successful at home as they are at the office. Here is what the employee work from home policy should include:
1. Define Who Can Work from Home
Work from home policy guidelines should always start with who can work remotely. Some job functions might not be allowed at home. Decide who can work at home and who has to stay at the office. You should also focus on who has the right equipment at their homes already. For example, a standing desk and office ergonomic chair can make it much easier to work remotely.
2. Establish the Approval Process
The work from home policy should include the approval process. That way, employees know how to request these privileges, who approves their request, and how long it takes to get approval.
3. Set Work Hours
The employee work from home policy should state when employees should start working and finish. Flexibility plays a part here, so you may require them to work eight hours a day, but they can do it from early morning until midnight.
4. Provide Guidance for Time Management (Time Records)
Work from home policy guidelines state that hourly employees keep track of their hours worked and send that to the managers. Ensure that there is an accurate way to do that, such as through a preferred app or build a proper time management plan.
5. Create Availability and Attendance Standards
When drawing up your work from home policy sample, make sure to note when team members are to be available and how to contact them. That way, they aren’t wasting time trying to send texts, emails, and more.
6. Streamline Communication Options
Along with the availability standards, make sure that you focus on communication with employees. You can’t just walk to the person’s desk anymore. Audit current channels and designate when each one is used.
For example, the company intranet may be used to find HR resources and FAQs. Email is suitable for team-wide announcements and long communications. Slack can be used for any information communications and as a second touch for announcements.
7. Provide IT Support
Working remotely means that the employees are heavily relying on technology. It’s logistically harder to provide IT support remotely. Therefore, you need to have a ticket system and helpline when employees have to call about concerns.
8. Security Standards
Every employee work from home policy needs to talk about security. You may require each person to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect everyone. They should also stay away from public WiFi systems.
9. Continue Internal Meetings and Programs
Communication is crucial, so make sure that you send newsletters and updates frequently. You should also have weekly meetings, even if they must be virtual, you can use some communication essentials to help.
10. Establish a Dress Code
Make sure that the work from home policy includes the dress code. If the person is not going to be seen virtually or in person, they may wear whatever they want. However, if they interact with clients, customers, and other employees, they should wear something suitable and professional.
11. Record Receipt Acknowledgement
The work from home policy sample you create needs to have a way for the employee to acknowledge they have read and agree to it.
12. Gather Feedback and Improve
Get feedback from the work from home policy sample and see if there’s anything that should be added.
You don’t need a work from home policy sample to copy from in most cases. Just list the justification, who is allowed to work from home, and mention that they still have to do their job efficiently.
If you take each of the steps above and write out your employee work from home policy as you go, you’re going to finish in no time!