1. Set clear rules
The transition to remote work from the comfort of an office can be difficult. The first step for a long-term strategy of working from home is to know the employees’ preferences and determine who should work remotely. There must be no discrimination at this point, so always choose a group of employees. For example, it may not possible to offer home office to all employees with children. It is necessary to reflect the content of the work and other aspects. Then, you can make an agreement with each employee, in which they express their consent to work from home and the conditions.
2. Define rights and responsibilities
As the employer, you should also issue an internal regulation stating the basic rules for working from home and make sure each employee is familiar with it. Among these rules, it must be noted which employees will use home office, how they should attend meetings and communicate with each other, and where they will work from, especially if they are not in the same city or area as the brick-and-mortar office. You can check in on each employee when communicating via email. It is also important to record each employee’s working hours, which is an easily controllable aspect. Workers from home are also paid for overtime, where the setting works the same as when working in the office. However, there is always a need for a mutual agreement between management and employees. Don’t forget the protection of sensitive data, the rules of which should be defined by the regulation – for example, the care which must be taken while working or telephoning in public places.
3. Prepare employees for the transition to remote work
Whether employees are working remotely or in the office, the employer is responsible for the safety and health of each employee. It is a good idea to connect with a health and safety agency, which will train employees and, if necessary, check the safety of the workplace in the home work environment. Training for managers to know how to manage their team remotely is also worthwhile, as well as for employees to know what to expect.
4. Create a plan for future possibilities
In the future, we will probably employ the availability of home office outside of crisis situations, so each company should set a long-term strategy for remote work, as well as a backup plan with clearly set rules for any further crisis situations. Employees will know what to expect from the strategy, and the company will be able to start it immediately.
5. Help employees during the transition to remote work
You can make working from home easier for your employees in several ways. One of them is definitely the digitization of every aspect of the company. Employees should have technologies that do not complicate their work performance, and the systems, processes, and resources of the company should be transferred to the online environment. You can also lend office equipment to employees. It is also worthwhile to reimburse the costs associated with working from home, which operate on a similar principle as travel costs.