The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to suddenly require their employees to work remotely. Here’s how you can quickly put together an effective work from home policy.
There are two things your business needs in order to ensure operations continue to run as efficiently as possible when team members are working from home:
- A clearly defined work from home policy.
- The necessary work from home tools in place.
Even if your organization doesn’t always allow employees to work remotely, having a work from home policy in place with the right tools allows workers to stay productive in the event that they are suddenly unable to go to the office.
This is especially true given the recent Coronavirus crisis that has forced entire companies to go fully remote on extremely short notice.
If that’s the situation that you’re in, don’t panic. Here’s what you need to know so you can quickly put together an effective work from home policy. Plus at the end of the article, we’ll point you in the right direction to the best tools for working remotely.
Create a Work From Home Policy
A work from home policy does not need to be long or complex. It just needs to clearly define the rules in a way that makes it easy for all stakeholders to understand. Here is what you should include in your work from home policy:
- Define who the policy applies to – Make it known which members of the company are able to work from home.
- List out the rules for when one can work from home – Whether it be sick days, doctor appointments, childcare, or any other reason, make it known when it’s acceptable to work from home.
- Set expectations – How many hours should remote workers put in each day? Make sure their goals and expectations are clear. You’ll also want employees to over-communicate while working remotely to keep productivity high, so say it.
- Communicate how employees will work from home – Should employees take their office computers home or leave them at the office? Is there a remote desktop tool you have in place that they can use to access their computers remotely? What apps should team members use to communicate with each other? Whatever tools you have in place, make sure everyone knows what they are and how to use them.
- Ensure security is a priority – Remind employees of the importance of security. List out all rules your company has regarding data and device security.
Once your policy addresses all the points above, you’re ready to begin testing it on a small group of employees. After testing and refining, you can roll it out to the rest of the company.
If you’re implementing a work from home policy for the whole company on short notice due to Coronavirus or another reason, you can quickly put together a policy that incorporates the above elements and distribute that to your team. As time goes on, pay attention to how your team responds and adjust the policy as need be.
Put the Right Work From Home Tools in Place
As mentioned at the beginning of this article and hinted at in the bulleted list, you also need to give your employees the tools they need to be as productive as possible while working from home.
Often, the biggest challenge remote workers face is that they are unable to access all the files and applications that are located on their work computer.
Many companies use VPNs to give their employees access, but this is a slow, outdated solution that increases your company’s security risk.
With that said, the best tool for working from home is remote access software. With it, your employees can access their work computers from any other device (including tables and smartphones) and use it as if they were sitting in their office.
You can learn more about enabling work from home with remote access software and get your company set up fast.
Also, check out the Top 5 Tools for Working From Home.
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