Employee Work Remote Policy: Considerations for Employers

As we continue to learn about COVID-19, many employers are turning to remote environments to run their day to day business in the interim. As you explore this opportunity we wanted to provide you with some thought-provoking guidelines in an effort to assist you with creating a policy for your business.

As working remotely may be suitable for some positions, but not for others, the first step should be to review eligibility. Consider the following.

• Employment status – Will all employees be eligible or will you only allow those of certain employment status (part-time, full time, per diem)?
• Longevity – Is there a minimum tenure that you feel is necessary for an employee to qualify to work remotely?
• Job responsibilities – Can the duties be accomplished remotely?
• Equipment needs – Does the employee have the equipment available to be able to successfully perform the job remotely? If they do not, how will you ensure that they receive the items necessary (printer, computer, etc.)?

There are also important considerations to keep in mind when planning for a remote workspace.

• Setting guidelines regarding a quiet and distraction-free work environment.
• Keeping electronics in a locked and secured area when they are not in use.
• Ensuring that confidential information is kept private while working remotely.
• How will the output be measured or monitored?

Last but not least, ensure that clear guidelines are established.

• What level of communication between the employee/supervisor/team is expected?
• Ensure your staff understands that the amount of time they are expected to work per day or per week will not change as a result.
• For what period of time will your employees be allowed to work remotely?
• If needed, how will office supplies (pens, post-it notes, etc.) be provided to your employees?
• Non-exempt workers need to track and submit their work hours just as if they were in the office.
• If an employee is working from home and cannot work, they must follow the proper call off policy to notify their supervisor.
• All employees who are working over 6 hours in a workday must take a 30 minute meal period, just as if they are at work.
• All employees’ policies that are followed at the worksite must also be followed working remotely.