The Dos and Don’ts of Remote Workers and Work-From-Home Policies
Look I get it, overhead is expensive and you have worked hard to build a work environment that best suits your company. You’ve put thought and money into designing your workspace only to find out that people working outside of the office are not only more effective, but also happier.
They don’t have to deal with regular office distractions, from meetings, to co-workers stopping by, to just simply noise. With the ability to control their environment workers can also work at their own pace through their process uninterrupted.
Your workers don’t need to be in the office to do great work, but they do need a way to make sure their teammates know what they’re doing and be able to communicate efficiently.
With that in mind…
Is Your Business Set up for Remote Workers?
It’s not a question of whether or not you should or shouldn’t allow remote or work-from-home work, the data is almost unilaterally for it. The next question becomes, are you giving them the tools to do it successfully?
- What do my employees have access to in the office that they don’t from a laptop with Wi-Fi?
- Do all of my company’s systems connect cohesively?
- Are Project Managers set up to be able to track progress and team member efficiency for remote team members?
- How do we make sure remote workers are able to keep track of the rest of the team’s progress?
- Do we have a policy on how to handle remote work? Are my employees aware of it?
- Do we have a policy on how to handle work-from-home? Are my employees aware of it?
- How will we measure efficiency for remote workers?
You can find countless articles and studies about how more productive workers are. What should never be forgotten is how much happier Workers are when they have the option to work remotely when needed. Employees aren’t just you biggest asset, they’re your whole business! Reducing employee turnover will make your business a better place.
What Makes a Good Work-From-Home Policy?
There are three basic principles that you should include into your policy:
- Be productive
- Be available
- And communicate
The most important part for work-from-home is that workers know it’s not a paid day off, they are expected to complete tasks just as if they were at the office.
If your worker is ill, it should not be a work-from-home situation, they need to concentrate on getting healthy. Doing their tasks at half speed will only generate poor results and slower recovery; it’s a bad plan to ask sick workers to work from home.
Yes working from home will limit availability but it shouldn’t eliminate it. Workers should set aside time at home to be available for calls, and let the office know when they are available.
Working remotely means you’re away from the office, not away from the team.
This is a continuation of point two, working remotely is a tradeoff, for a little more liberty workers have to do be more proactive in updating their teams in what progress has been made, what setbacks have happened and if anything unexpected has happened.
With those three elements you can create a policy that not only makes your workers happy, but builds a better work environment.