Remote work has been a key recruiting strategy for many organizations for years. Some organizations have fully embraced it and opened up the ability to recruit top talent nationwide. Other companies allow remote work a day or two per week as an added perk for employees. And still others only really allow it in specific situations, like if an employee needs to care for a spouse who just had a surgery or a kid who’s home sick from school.
While we’ve seen a wide range of approaches to remote work, we think every employee handbook should contain a remote work policy of some kind. Now, we’re not saying that every employer can or should allow their employees to work remotely every day or even on a regular basis. Depending on the business and the culture, regular remote work might not be the best option for your company. But sometimes it’s a necessity, whether due to a global pandemic or important deadlines that coincide with a sick kid for one of your key employees.
But as with many other things, having a clear policy is critical. If you didn’t have one in place before and have suddenly found yourself shifting your entire team to working remotely, you need a policy in place as soon as possible. Don’t think, “Well, this is just temporary, so we can get by without one.” It’s not too late, and you need a policy.
A remote work policy protects you and your employees. Like any other policy, it lays out the expectations for all involved. How often can employees work remotely? What hours should they be available when working remotely? What sort of home office setup will you require? And how will your team communicate with people who are working remotely?
Remote work doesn’t have to be a scary topic, nor is it something that will kill your company culture, even if you’re used to everybody in the same office together. Many companies of all sizes were already doing remote work successfully, and the global pandemic has forced many more to figure it out quickly. Teams can use email, cell phones, video conferencing, and instant messaging platforms to communicate just as effectively as when they’re in the office. Some companies who’ve resisted remote work for years may discover that it really can work for their team and may eventually return to a hybrid approach instead of requiring all employees to be in the office every day.
It’s worth noting that you need to be even more aware of work-life balance if you allow remote work. It’s all too easy for a remote work arrangement to shift to expecting employees to be on call all the time, and that’s not good for your employees or your company culture.
The beauty of having a remote work policy in place, even if it’s just one that gets implemented for emergency situations, is that you don’t have to figure it out on the fly when things are already stressful. You’ve already drafted the policy and you can enact it according to certain situations outlined in the policy.
With modern technology, remote work can be a great way for you to recruit top talent without worrying about geographic limitations or simply recruit employees who are drawn to companies that allow remote work.
Do you need help implementing a remote work policy now or in the future? Contact us today to see if we’re a good fit for your needs.