Setting Up an Effective Work From Home Policy

Setting Up an Effective Work From Home Policy

Shao Min Ng Consultant Meca Employers Consulting Agency Sdn Bhd shaomin@meca.com.my

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Work from home is definitely a growing trend in today’s work environment, especially given the pandemic situation that we are in now. It provides much more flexibility as employees can easily plug-in from anywhere. However, you can’t just send any remote workers to the wolves, and companies need a defined work from home (WFH) policy to make it work. The policies ought to be tailored as per the company’s needs and requirements.

A complete WFH policy should be able to define the expectations, responsibilities, the eligibility and the other work from home guidelines. In short, it ensures that all employees understand what is required of them when they work from home. Therefore, not paying attention to even the smallest detail can have serious implications, particularly if your employee is not monitored properly. Some of the important factors to consider as you develop a work from home policy are outlined below:

Decide who can work from home

Not every job position is suitable for remote work. Employees who are chosen to work from home should have duties that do not require a physical presence at work. To ensure productivity, it is important for companies to choose wisely the employees who not only are able to demonstrate good work ethics but also have a distraction-free living situation. These employees must be organised, disciplined, and self-motivated.

Define expectations

It is utmost important to set clear expectations for all remote workers and for some employees, you might even need to put in the extra mile and do this on a daily basis. This can include things like – the hours they put in, turnaround time for any response and the right communication platforms to use. Employees also need to be made aware of meeting schedules and that they must always be available for team communications and updates. To ensure employees perform work to your standards, set expectations for the quality and output of every employee’s work, on top of reasonable deadlines or quotas wherever possible.

Clarify the expenses covered

While remote employees save on petrol and other costs associated with the daily commute, it is not a surprise that they incur higher expenses while working from home, think high speed internet, electricity, phone bills which may offset the money they save in mileage. Companies may want to establish a virtual employee allowance for this purpose. If so, be sure to clarify in writing any expenses (and of course the limit) that the company is able to provide to remote workers.

Most importantly, companies must be mindful when wording the work from home policy or any policies to begin with. The more detailed your policy is, the easier it will be to sort things out should there be any disagreements between the employer and employee, especially regarding an employee’s rights. With the right policy in place, flexible work arrangements not only benefit the employee but the employer as well as it enhances productivity while decreasing the businesses’ overall operating costs.

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