Many businesses are moving more employees to “work from home” status. Not only has COVID-19 changed the landscape of how business gets done, increased digital and remote ability has made it easier to work outside of a traditional office. A work from home policy can help you create the policy you need.
If your business is going to allow employees to work from home, you should have policies in place to govern their actions and protect your business. In this article, you will learn how to make a work from home policy for your employees and give you the tools you need to create your own work from home guidelines.
What is a Work From Home Policy?
A work from home policy is a legal agreement between you and your employees that governs their responsibilities and expectations while working from home. It may define who is permitted to work from home, a process for requesting work at home, and set forth the approval process.
Whether work from home is optional or mandatory, it gives your business the power to ensure employees are successful while working at home. It protects their health and productivity, as well as your businesses’ rights. The policy makes the expectations clear and documents your policies in case they are violated by an employee.
Work from home policies are also referred to as:
- Telework policy
- Remote work policy
- Telecommuting policy
- Remote employment agreement
When to Use a Work From Home Policy
You should use a work from home policy any time you want employees to work from home. These agreements set clear expectations and employee requirements while they work for you. They protect your business as well as your employees.
If you will have any employees work remotely, you should utilize an agreement. You can modify a work from home template to meet your company’s unique needs without having to start an agreement from scratch.
How to Write a Work from Home Policy
Writing a work-from-home policy yourself saves you money and time. You can use our document builder, or work from home template, to help you create and modify a policy suited to your needs.
Define Who is Eligible to Work From Home
You may only want to allow certain individuals to work from home. Your policy should detail the types of employees who are eligible to work from home and who are not.
Create an Approval Process
Once you have created eligibility criteria, you want to create a process for approving at home work. This will include how an employee can request work from home status, the people who decide the request, and the criteria that must be met for approval.
Outline Regular Working Hours
Your work from home policy should state when the employee is expected to work. This should include the days they must work and the times. If you wish to provide flexibility in hours, you can set other criteria for how and when work must be accomplished.
Provide Timekeeping Procedures for Hourly Employees
Hourly, non-exempt employees are still required to track their hours. Since they are at home, you should create a procedure for the employee to track their hours and submit them to a supervisor.
You can also create attendance and availability standards for their work. Instead of having to track down employees to get their input, they should be available when you need them. You can dictate when employees are available.
Provide IT Support and Security Protocols
Nearly every business will require employees to utilize technology to accomplish their tasks. They need support from IT to do their job. Additionally, security standards should not slack simply because the employee is home.
Your information is valuable, and an at-home work agreement can help protect that data. A security breach is too costly to ignore when creating your work from home policy.
Create Communication Channels
Communication during remote work is often haphazard and unorganized if it is not addressed as part of the work from home agreement. Your agreement can address this important issue and make clear to employees how and when they should communicate to supervisors, coworkers, or customers. A work from home HR policy sample can help you create a comprehensive strategy for your at home workers.
Work From Home Policy Sample
This work from home policy sample will let you see how a template can help you create your own agreement
Work From Home Policy
Tips to Consider When Writing a Work From Home Policy
When you are writing a work from home policy, you want to make sure you create a comprehensive agreement that fully outlines your expectations of remote employees. These tips can help you create an effective agreement:
- Include remote monitoring: Remote monitoring software lets you track your employees. This includes their communications, time working, and other usage habits helpful to employee supervision. If you decide to use any, you should include any remote monitoring you will use in your policy.
- Create a sick and vacation policy: Just because they are working from home, it does not mean that employees lack vacation or sick time. You should account for how to track this time off in the agreement.
- Consider unique expectations: Every job is different. You should consider the unique requirements of a particular job when drafting a remote work policy. This might include requirements to attend a certain in-person training or even utilize specific technology when working at home.
- Create enforcement mechanisms: You cannot just have policies in place, you need to be ready to enforce them. The agreement should outline the effect of a breach of the at home work agreement.
Why a Work From Home Policy is Important
Work from home policies make your expectations clear. This protects you and your workers. At home work agreements protect your business but give your employees flexibility as well. The desire to work at home is increasing substantially, especially during and after the COVID-19 era.
Other benefits include:
- Ensuring quality remote work
- Creating a culture of clear expectations
- Using remote workers to reduce office and facilities costs
Work From Home Policy FAQs
A work from home policy is most effective when it is drafted carefully and thoughtfully. A template agreement is especially helpful in getting started, but it is the ability to modify it for your unique needs that makes it especially useful.
You can create a work from home policy with Legal Templates by using a template. We offer template agreements you can use or you can build your own agreement with our template builder.