Increase your team's productivity amid the coronavirus outbreak with an effective remote work policy
Working from home sounds great. You don’t have to wake up on time to travel to the office, you can schedule your day as per your flexibilities, you can prioritize your health while working for an organization, and the list is never-ending. But when you are remotely working, there are certain guidelines that you must follow. Why? To achieve the business goals without falling behind.
However, while the pandemic novel COVID-19 traverses from its one form to the other, expecting complete productivity from the employees amidst the panic is difficult. When the entire world is suffering and coming to a halt, remote working is only a way to keep things and the economy going.
The initial days of your remote work might seem confusing and panicky because of the news about coronavirus. When are you supposed to be online, how many hours are you expected to work and many more- these are some questions you have no answers to. In cases like these, a comprehensive remote work policy comes to rescue. For any employee availing work from home and the organization during the coronavirus outbreak, a policy comes as a guideline that strictly lists the expectations and the severities. And here are four points that should be mandatorily addressed in your remote work policy.
- Specify your hours of work
- Flexibility to ad hoc collaborations
- Guidelines for information security
- Meet compliance and regulatory requirements
Specify your hours of work
Amidst the panic, how many hours do you expect your employees to work? 9 hours or would you like them to have some flexibility?
Depending on your business, decide on the factors. Specify their hours of work, schedule, and business requirements. The availability of your employees must be clearly outlined in the policy so that they are well informed of it. If your organization has departments where the time zone overlaps, set policy guidelines accordingly.
Remember, while the employee is working from home, it is a different situation than a normal day. Thereby, you must not expect your employees to extend or be available post their shift time. Give them some time to breathe and do not exaggerate the schedule.
Flexibility to ad hoc collaborations
When employees are working from home, there could be certain ad hoc discussions between the peers. Unlike your presence at the office, working from home requires the parties to get connected over a call. And as an organization, you must be open to ad hoc collaborations and meetings.
Make sure that your employees working at different time zones are not affected and have the information they need. Your remote work policy must clearly outline handling tasks and ad hoc follow-ups. This respects your employee’s availabilities and non-availabilities.
Guidelines for information security
Your remote team can work from private and public networks, and security is a concern. Protecting your company’s information from unauthorized access is and always has been a challenge. Therefore, you must strictly outline the security policies in the guidelines.
Use firewalls or VPNs to secure your organization’s valuable information. Provide them with laptops that are restricted to abuse. And have these points clearly mentioned in the remote work policy.
Meet compliance and regulatory requirements
Remote work is not supported or covered by local employment laws, so you must consult a legal expert about the compliance regulations. As per your employee’s country of residence, check with the legal department for provisions. Put together a document mentioning all the crucial points and include them in your remote work policy.
The remote work policy needs to be flexible and set as per your business requirements. Before you outline a policy, understand the core domains you wish to concentrate on. And then use third-party tools to execute the plan.
Once things fall into place, frame your policy and provide it to your employees and keep a strict watch for the initial few days.