As the New Year approaches many employers are giving the green light to return some employees to the workplace; a topic that remains top-of-mind for both employers and employees. Employers contemplating some ongoing levels of remote or hybrid work should begin developing comprehensive policies. Below are a few key points to consider:
Eligibility. It is important to define what positions are subject to the policy and when the policy applies. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 it is recommended that eligibility requirements remain flexible to allow the company to act quickly in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Expectations. The consensus among experts is that a remote worker’s performance should be based on output and the completion of goals and objectives as opposed to attendance or other time-based performance metric. Communication objectives, availability and responsiveness criteria, including what forms of communication are to be used, should be clear and easy to understand.
Technology. A remote work policy is the perfect means of putting all eligible employees on notice about what tools and resources the company will and will not provide. The company should be clear and realistic as to what equipment and resources are needed for each remote or hybrid position. There should also be clear directives on how technology should be used (e.g., video on for all meetings and what types of backgrounds should be used for internal and external meetings). Security should also be addressed when outlining technology expectations.
Consider designing your policy around outcomes, as opposed to strict workflows and office-centric processes to create a more manageable policy. Be clear with employees as to what is expected of them – what their goals are and what they are expected to accomplish – but allow flexibility and autonomy in how and when the work is accomplished.
Flexibility remains a key component of any remote or hybrid work policy. Learning how to manage a remote or hybrid workforce will also be high on the priority list of those employers looking for ways improve productivity while enhancing the work experience for workers across their organization.
Members with questions about remote or hybrid work policies should contact Western Growers.