Why is a telecommuting policy important?
As all company policies and procedures, they define the rules of conduct for remote workers and outline the responsibilities.
It is generally foreseen that working from home will be the future of work. COVID-19 pandemic just accelerated it. Remote work saved many businesses from total halt and became vital for continuing business operations.
These companies that were forced to move their workforce to their homes, need to define a Telecommuting Policy. It’s crucial as it will define not only how the employee should safeguard the company’s equipment but the business information and its confidentiality.
Item that should include a telecommuting policy
Employee Eligibility. Define what is the general criteria what make the employee eligible, like the type of work the employee performs, what are the proper home work environment, execution of telecommuting participant agreement. Avoid terms that could be considered as discriminatory.
Employment Terms. Define the participant’s duties and terms of employment while participating in the program. For example, is there any change on Schedule or work hours/week, salary, benefits, vacations, leaves and other rights and responsibilities? There might be times participants will be asked to come to the office.
Company Policies Governing. Here is where you need to confirm that the general IT policies apply to all participants. The general IT policy should cover the proper use of the company equipment, facilities, software, support services, internet, telephones, information, social media, cyber-security safeguards.
Tax Implications. Usually, it is the participant responsibility to determine any income tax implication of maintaining a home office area. Is the company going to provide any tax guidance or assume any tax liability?
Work Assignment and Supervision. Who and how the assignments will be directed to the participant?
Performance Standards. Define how the supervisor will evaluate the performance. It is important to disclose that the supervisor may monitor the participant activities, performing randomly checking of the participant presence by telephone, personal visit or electronic monitoring. What are the consequences of not preforming satisfactory?
Confidentiality. Define clear rules about the security of data and access to systems, as well as material s taken home. This section should cover items like:
Overtime request and assignments. Does the overtime policy extend to the telecommuting one?
Work Space / Work Site Inspection. Establish the company rights to visit the participant’s home to ensure that the designated work space meets the requirements.
Home office operations costs. Will the company pay for utility, internet, maintenance or repairs?
Equipment Responsibility. Is the employee financially responsible for expenses associated with the loss or repair of the assigned equipment?
Equipment / Office Supplies. Describe what is the equipment and office supplies that the company will provide.
Accidents and Injuries. How and who the employee abount any injury or illness related to work being performed for the company. Is there any Workers’ Compensation law that the employee should be aware when working from home?
Damage to Employee’s property. Is the company liable for damages to the participant’s personal or real property during the performance of official duties?
Company’s right to end a telecommuting status. The company usually has the right to end the telecommuting agreement at the company’s discretion. Define what could be the consequence if the participant chooses not to return.
We can help customize your IT related Policies, including: