How to create a remote work policy for your team

how-to-create-a-remote-work-policy-for-your-team

Due to the ever-changing landscape of our world, businesses need to have a strong remote work policy if they want to keep progressing. That’s because remote work is on the rise, and a solid policy would make it easier for organizations to accommodate their workers. 

So today, in this article we will explore:

  • What is a remote work policy?
  • Why do you need it?
  • How to create a remote work policy?

Let’s start, shall we?

 

What is a remote work policy?

In an essence, it contains guidelines for a company’s remote workers. This policy is also sometimes known as work from home policy or telecommuting policy.

This policy helps the workers and the business be on the same page. It also creates a standard of fairness and makes it possible for in-office and remote workers to receive fair treatment. A well-put-together remote policy also ensures professionalism in the absence of an office work environment.

 

what-is-a-remote-work-policy

 

Why do you need it?

The work landscape is constantly changing, and a specific remote work policy ensures that your business is flexible in any circumstance. It also attracts a broader demographic of workers and potentially raises productivity. 

And with the pandemic, remote work has continued to be on the rise. In fact, according to a study conducted by OWL labs, 16% of companies are fully remote globally. Another study conducted by Upwork estimates that by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. 

The remote work policy is also important to mitigate any risks that may affect your business in the future. In the event of any such circumstance, your policy will help your business avoid any interruptions. 

 

How to create a remote work policy?

Follow these easy steps to ensure your business has a solid policy. You can use these steps as a checklist to see if you’re on the right track.

 

5-steps-of-creating-a-remote-work-policy

 

Step 1: What is the reason for the policy

Is your business using remote work as a temporary measure to deal with events such as Covid-19, or are you considering operating completely remote? Identifying the purpose of a remote work policy will make it easier to tailor the policy to your business’s needs.

 

Step 2: Who is eligible for the remote work policy

It is important to highlight who is eligible for remote work in your policy as it shows fair treatment to all your workers. In your policy, you can create eligibility criteria that make it easier to identify what sort of employee is eligible for a remote work opportunity. 

Some areas to consider include:

  • Do your remote workers need to be in the same city and country where your business is located, or could they work remotely from anywhere in the world?
  • Does your company offer remote work opportunities for all in-office workers, or is remote work only available for specific departments and new employees? 
  • Ask yourself if an employee needs to work at your company for a certain time to be eligible for remote work?
  • Does your company only provide remote work for a certain time, such as twice a week? 

Answering these questions removes any grey areas in your policy and identifies your company’s needs. At the end of the eligibility criteria, you can also provide information on how eligible employees can apply for the remote work opportunity. 

This could include sending in a written request or contacting your HR department. Ultimately, having a clear-cut outline will make it easier for your employees to understand your remote work policy better.

 

Step 3: What are your expectation for remote work

According to a study conducted by Gartner, 76% of employers complained about the lack of productivity due to remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic. Your business’s remote work policy should clearly state your work expectation to avoid such circumstances. 

Presenting your work expectations upfront will prevent confusion and set your employees up for success! Here are some ideas for what to expect:

  • What time do you want your employees to be available for remote work? Are your remote work timings similar to the in-office employees, or are timings more flexible for remote workers? 
  • Do remote work employees need to work longer hours? What time frame should your remote workers be available, e.g., between 9 am to 6 pm? Make sure to consider time zones if you’re employing overseas.
  • Give guidelines on how to collaborate with remote employees efficiently. Explain how quickly you want your remote employees to respond to emails and calls. Include how often remote workers are required to check in with their managers. This will help everyone be on the same page.
  • It is important to mention the type of equipment required in your remote work policy. This could also include any particular software required. Be sure to mention if your company is willing to provide any equipment or software for remote workers in your policy. 

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Step 4: How to set up a remote work environment

Your remote work policy should mention methods for remote employees to create the most suitable work environment. This environment will be important in maintaining high productivity.

Providing detailed guidelines on this matter will also benefit your employees’ well-being and strengthen the relationship between you and your employees.

You should provide details on creating the perfect work environment, and you should also allot break times similarly as you would in an office. It is important to highlight any cyber security issues your remote employees might face in your remote work policy. 

Since most remote workers will be using Wi-Fi that may not have the same protection as your company Wi-Fi, you should mention how your remote employees can secure their networks. This will not only help your employees but will also protect any work that might be confidential. 

 

Step 5: How to consider your employee’s legal rights

Lastly, but most importantly, your remote work policy should address how your company will protect the rights of your remote employees.

Legal employment rights are incredibly important as they protect your employees and your company. The legal rights in your policy should be written clearly and should address any potential concerns that may arise. 

Your legal statement should outline how to calculate employee hours and ensure that remote and in-office workers can access the same benefits. 

 

Remote work policy template

Now that you have all these steps let’s put them together in a sample remote work policy template to see how you can present your policy. 

 

Purpose of the policy

[Reasons as to why the remote work policy is being put in place]

 

Employment eligibility for remote work

[a bulleted list detailing how employees can be eligible for remote work]

 

Company expectation for remote work

[Mention the times of availability and any managers or supervisors the employers should be in contact with]

 

Setting up a remote work environment

[Clear guidelines on how to set up the best possible work environment]

 

Legal guidelines

[Mention ways in which your employee’s legal rights are being met] 

 

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With GoVisually, you can make edits in real-time, monitor progress, share ideas and get instant feedback. GoVisually helps you stay connected with your employees and helps your business stay on track by making the review and approval process simpler and easier. 

And with the help of our five helpful steps and our sample remote work policy template, you can now create a remote work policy that can help maintain a professional environment for your in-office and remote workers. 

Make sure when you create a policy, you review it before announcing it!

 

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Alina Zahid

Alina Zahid

Alina Zahid Khan is storyteller, writer, and entrepreneur and the content manager at GoVisually. Her passion is to share knowledge, helpful content to creative professionals. Want to write for us? Email us content@govisually.com and see our writing guidelines
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