The workplace environment has changed drastically over the last year, by shifting from physical to remote working. Most of the workplaces were not prepared for that kind of a change and took time to adjust to the new working environment and are still working on policies and forming a virtual path to work with their employees remotely.
With a change in the workplace comes a change in employee policies. And one of the best ways to keep the policies updated is by using an employee handbook. Instead of making new ones, companies can use some of these Employee handbook templates for remote workers for creating new policies to adjust to the requirements of running a remote workplace and create decorum in the company.
Here are four important policies HR can add to the employee handbook for remote workers:
1. Remote Working Hours
Remote work comes with flexibility in work hours. But a company needs to create a balance between remote work hours and flexibility so that things don’t get counter productive. It is also needed to protect the mental health of the employees so they’re not working late at night or over the weekend. Since the traditional 9-5 does not work anymore, the company needs to provide clear guidance on how many hours an employee should spend working during the day while managing other important household responsibilities.
Being considerate of the mental health and comfort of the employees shows that the company cares about its employees and fulfils its corporate social responsibility.
2. Modes of Communication
With virtual work comes virtual modes of communication. There are many kinds of apps and office management systems available that a company can use to have effective two-way communication with its employees. The company should clearly state which virtual office management system the company will be using and mention instructions on how to access it.
It is also important to maintain a horizontal communication instead of a top-down communication because unlike a physical workplace, the upper management now needs to communicate more with the employees to see if anyone is having trouble adjusting to the new routine or isn’t getting the necessary information. Having a consistent mode of communication will be really helpful in managing remote employees.
Since the employees don’t have access to the work computers which are protected by expensive cybersecurity softwares, the company’s important information is at risk of being exposed. Not only online, people living in shared households could accidentally expose the company’s information to others sharing the living space. There has to be a clear policy that the employees need to protect the information both online and offline,and will be responsible for it legally in case something happens to the integrity of the company.
4. Setting Clear Goals
With a new working system in place, it is possible for employees to slack due to difficulty in managing a work-life balance. It is not always due to intentional neglect, but this is a new and unexplored situation for many people where they are not on a strict timeline to finish work before the day ends.
To help employees maintain their efficiency, a company can use management systems to set goals and timelines for employees to give them a sense of responsibility and make work easier for them. They can also create a policy about how to set smart goals and ask for help if they feel difficulty managing work. The managers can also check in with the employees regularly to see if they need help fulfilling their goals and encourage them to work hard and finish work in time to avoid creating a disruption in their personal lives.
The ultimate goal is to cater to the well-being of the employees while still maintaining a steady flow of work. Employee handbooks can play a really important role in regulating remote workplaces and managing productivity. Setting clear policies and goals are not only helpful for the employees, but also benefit the company in the long run. Digital employee handbooks can be really helpful in updating and communicating new policies among employees. We hope these policies can help you in regulating your remote workplace!