COVID-19 has presented various work-related challenges. It is transforming the way we work and the future of work is being shaped. In this scenario, one of the common questions that has cropped up is whether the option to work from home will be adapted by companies in the post-COVID world. If you have been contemplating the same, then this short guide will help you make up your mind and get started with creating a work from home policy.
Why should you create a work from home policy?
According to a research by Lenovo, 88% of the global workforce wants to work from home at least from time to time. Therefore, workplaces that offer work from home are going to be more lucrative for employees in the future.
Although you might already be working from home and have an informal work from home culture in place, it is important to create official work from home guidelines so that both the employer and employee are on the same page about expectations.
What should a work from home policy include?
Before getting started on creating a WFH policy, think about the goal you hope to accomplish with your work from home policy. This could include adapting to the current challenges or improving your employee value proposition.
Once you have clarity on the objective, it will help you tailor the following process for creating a work from home policy.
1. Decide who is eligible to work from home
The pandemic has shown us the great divide between jobs that are possible to execute from home and others that aren’t or cannot be executed efficiently. Although currently you should ensure safety for as many workers as possible and limit in-office jobs if they can be avoided, this is still an important question while framing the official work from home policy. You should clearly define which jobs are available for work from home. In addition to identifying these jobs yourself, you could also survey employees and ask them how remote work impacts their job.
2. Think about work from home duration
Would work from home be allowed on certain days or can the employees work from home whenever they want? This could again differ according to the job as some employees may not be required in office as often as others.
Furthermore, you could also think about certain circumstances when the employees would be allowed to work from home. This can include appointment days, home emergencies, health issues, etc.
3. Create an approval process
Specify who will approve the work from home requests. This is generally done by the supervisor or the HR. In addition to this, you should decide when this request should be made. For example, the employee can request work from home a day in advance if they need to work from home for only a day or so. However, for longer durations, the request may need to be made weeks in advance.
4. Decide on the working hours for remote work
Will employees need to be constantly available or can they define their own working hours?
For hourly employees, you need to specify a procedure for measuring working hours.
5. Set down cybersecurity guidelines
In-office work comes with the advantage of a secure network. To maintain this security in a remote environment, you can invest in an encrypted virtual private network. Other work security guidelines can include not using public Wi-Fi, avoiding storing company data on personal laptops, etc.
6. Offer IT support
In order to work smoothly from home, your employees will need a robust IT infrastructure. You could offer them a stipend to cover basic IT expenses such as setting up a secure Wi-Fi connection or buying other equipment. In addition to this, there should be a team member/team who could help with troubleshooting IT issues.
7. Effect on compensation and benefits
If you plan to allow work from home for an extended period or on a permanent basis, you may need to decide how it will impact the compensation package. While the base pay may remain the same, you may need to make changes according to the cost of living in the cities that employees reside in. To learn more about setting up a fair compensation plan for remote work, you could check out this post by PayScale.
These were the main elements of a work from home policy. If you are looking for an example on how to go about it, then you can check out this work from home policy sample from Workable.
Once you have created the WFH policy, you can also share expectations and work from home tips to help your employees adapt to the work from home culture.
Work from home guidelines and tips at Internshala
Work from home is one of the topmost perks that millennials look for. If you are embracing the WFH culture at your workplace and are looking to hire freshers, then you can check out Fresher Jobs on Internshala.