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5 Work-From-Home Issues Your Telecommuting Policy Should Address

5 Work-From-Home Issues Your Telecommuting Policy Should Address

How can you maximize the benefits of working remotely while minimizing cybersecurity risks? It is necessary to create a telecommuting policy.

  • A telecommuting policy should be comprehensive and specific in terms of details such as eligibility, frequency, productivity and expectations. It should also include information about power structure, cybersecurity and communication methods.
  • You should have a plan for dealing with violations of telecommuting policies and you should enforce them fairly.
  • To determine the success or failure of your policy, you can use productivity software, software, and employee feedback.
  • This article was written for managers and business owners who want to establish a successful telecommuting policy that benefits their remote employees.– Effective telecommuting policies are more important than ever since there has been an increase in the number of people working remotely after the pandemic. Now, with many companies settling on hybrid or permanent remote workplaces, it is essential to have clear policies. These policies can give employees an understanding of acceptable working arrangements and help them stay productive and efficient.

Brian Shapland (director of sales at Ancillary & Shared Spaces) stated that allowing people to work remotely “attracts and retains top talent” in a competitive marketplace. There are many factors to consider before granting your team permission to work from home, such as the potential impact on employee engagement and team connectivity, and the vibrancy your office culture.

Many employees want to have a better work-life balance. The possibility of working outside the office is a dream. Without guidelines, managing remote workers can quickly become a nightmare for bosses. It’s a smart idea to establish a formal telecommuting program to keep tabs on employees working remotely and to ensure that everyone performs at their best, no matter where they are located.

What is the importance of a telecommuting policy?

The future of work is working from home. Gallup actually found that nearly 45% of U.S. workers work remotely and that 60% of workers cite productivity as their top reason for preferring hybrid or remote work.

Companies can fail if they don’t have a clear policy on telecommuting. There is no way to be distracted when you work from home or in an office. You can clearly define what employees should expect by defining your work-from home policy.

How the COVID-19 pandemic affected telecommuting

Working from home was once a privilege that few could afford. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. To keep their employees safe, companies had to switch to remote workers. Many realized the benefits of telecommuting soon afterward.

Gallup’s survey revealed that employees prefer telecommuting for the following reasons: it is better for their health, flexibility, less distractions, productivity, and time savings. These benefits were so attractive that 94% (49%) and 45% (45%) of the employees surveyed preferred some type of hybrid or remote work arrangement.

Workers are now more selective in choosing which companies to work for after the pandemic. While competitive salaries are still vital, the type and quality of employee benefits can have a significant impact on your ability to retain and attract employees. Employers have had to reevaluate the benefits they offer due to 10.4 million job opportunities and “The Great Resignation”. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employer sentiment dictates that flexible work arrangements should be offered by companies whenever possible.

How to make a telecommuting policy

A good telecommuting policy is not only about setting expectations but also about defining tools and determining which positions are eligible. It can also be flexible enough to allow for future changes. Here are some things you should include if you have trouble starting your telecommuting strategy.

  • Define the positions that are eligible for remote work. How remote work affects productivity.
  • Be specific with your policy. No matter what your policy on work-from-home is, be specific. Clear expectations and requirements.
  • Establish a strong power structure. Allow managers to set benchmarks and guidelines for employees working remotely. What time will they check in? What will they do to keep track of the tasks they have completed each day? These procedures can be set up for the entire company if your company is small enough. Regardless of your company’s size, be specific and clear with your employees.
  • Describe the tools that your employees need. They will need productivity tools, communication tools, and other tools. You should clearly define the tools your employees should use, their purpose and how they should use them.
  • Be open. Listen to your employees to help you develop a strategy that works for everyone.

Considerations to make when creating a telecommuting policy

1. Eligibility

When deciding on a remote working policy, an employer must first consider whether employees’ attitudes, work ethics, and personalities are compatible with company expectations. Although working from home may sound like a great perk, not everyone can work productively when their boss isn’t nearby.

Phil Shawe, CEO and co-founder of TransPerfect translation technology company, stated that managers should be flexible to accommodate each case.

Kim Davis, a board member and ex-executive vice president and chief human resources officer at NFP benefits broker, recommended setting eligibility guidelines. These guidelines can be based on the type of position, the length of the person’s tenure at the company, their current job, past job performance and the frequency with which a staff member can telecommute.

2. Expectations regarding work hours

Official “business hours” can vary depending on whether the team is geographically distributed or if remote work allows for family obligations and schedules to be met. Employers must trust telecommuters and allow them to work when it suits them. Employees must be held accountable for the tasks they have been assigned, no matter what their work hours.

Shapland stated, “Set clear expectations for employees.” Remote workers must be available during office hours and meet deadlines. They should also complete projects on time and communicate with their manager and coworkers. If workers fail to meet these expectations, they risk losing trust in leadership and being marginalized by their team.

Davis stated that employees should be given clear guidelines and policies to help them understand and accept the telecommuting arrangement. Davis stated that a private and quiet workspace is still necessary in the home. Work hours require complete attention and dedication. There are no children to watch while you work.

3. Cybersecurity and equipment

The security of corporate data workers access outside of the secure office network is an important aspect of remote work. Hunter Hoffmann, senior vice-president of global marketing communications and communications at AmTrust Financial Services recommended monitoring devices and programs employees use while working remotely and setting up security safeguards to prevent any hacks or other breaches. It is also useful to teach employees how you can set up a secure office. [Looking to monitor employee productivity and security? Our picks for the best employee monitoring software are available. ]

Hoffmann stated that allowing employees to work remotely increases the chance they will use their work devices to connect to unsecured public networks. Password-protect all business devices and make sure data is encrypted from those devices. Make sure you keep a list of all devices and that each one is GPS tracked. Install technology that allows you to remotely wipe any data from any device that is lost or stolen.

Davis stated that employees must be aware that company-issued equipment can be taken home to work remotely. The programs and equipment should only be used for work purposes.

4. Communication methods

Because of their simplicity and ease of use, instant messaging and chat service have been the preferred communication method in many offices. While it is logical to allow the entire team to communicate through these platforms, for quick discussions and collaboration, employees who aren’t physically present need face-to-face time just like their colleagues in the office. To ensure that no text-based communication is lost, it’s important to have regular phone calls and video conference with remote workers.

Companies can maintain their culture even when telecommuters are full-time by using the appropriate communications technology. Reid Travis, a global key account executive for Ultra Fiberglass Systems, stated that video-integrated chats have been an integral part of his company’s culture as a telecommuter. The staff feels more connected by sharing photos from office events, creating a “fun talk” chat and inviting remote employees to chat and participate in meetings and chats.

Travis stated that it is easy to feel disconnected and not included when you telecommute. “Ensure that the person feels included in the team. It will help you be more productive and make you feel like you are making progress, even if you’re far away.

5. Policy abuse

While you want your employees to be respectful and accountable when using your remote work policy for their benefit, there are some who may abuse it. If an employee fails to meet their expectations, it is wise to make clear that remote work is a privilege.

Shawe stated that you can eliminate abuses of work-from home policies by measuring at the individual and group levels and holding everyone accountable for their performance.

He stated that it was the job of management to set challenging but achievable goals for employees, no matter where they are located around the world. “If your internal systems can measure relevant information and convert that information into appropriate, digestible, and shared performance metrics, then the business and its employees will thrive, regardless of whether they are operating in the real or virtual world.”

How can you measure success of remote work policies?

This is the most crucial part of creating or amending a teleworking policy. Use productivity software and software that gives you a quick overview of your entire team. You need to identify areas where your team is excelling and where you can improve productivity. To determine the success of your telecommuting policy, you must think critically about every aspect of your business’s productivity.

You can also assess the effectiveness of your policy by regularly checking in with your team to see how it is being received. Remote employees often feel isolated from the rest. Get to know your managers and remote workers . Ask questions about the policy. These are just a few ways to assess your telecommuting policy to determine if it should be changed.

Remote workers: Resources

Are you looking for additional resources to help manage and implement remote workers? These are some of the resources you might be interested in:

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