Working from home – or telecommuting – can be beneficial for both employees and employers. While employees get the benefit of flexible working and the improved work/life balance that brings, employers get a more motivated and productive workforce, with staff who are happier to work longer hours when the daily commute is taken out of the equation.
Telecommuting isn’t for everyone though, so here are five top tips to make sure employers get the most of telecommuting.
1. Set a work from home policy
All employees have the right to request to work from home, and as an employer you have to give all requests serious consideration and give a valid business case for turning down any requests. It’s important, therefore, to draft a robust and consistent work from home policy, to help avoid ambiguity and conflict. For some useful advice, check out How to draft a work from home policy.
2. Keep data secure
Company data security applies outside of the office as much as it does inside it, and this can be a real problem for home workers, especially those who use their own equipment. To ensure that third parties do not have access to corporate data, the employee must encrypt devices – computers or mobile data carriers. And great care should be taken to separate professional and private data. All this should be contracted by the employer in advance.
3. Consider health and safety
Employee health and safety is also a consideration for home workers, meaning that employers must ensure that the workplace meets the legal requirements. Lighting, technical equipment, furniture – everything must meet safety requirements before employees can be allowed to work from home.
4. Get extra insurance
Just like in the office, the employer must generally provide the equipment of the workplace. Since the work equipment is therefore the property of the company, the liability for damage by third parties, such as family members, must be contracted. A good solution here is often an additional insurance that includes such damage.
5. Make sure employees get the job done
Allowing employees to work from home requires an element of trust from employers, and it’s difficult to enforce strict working hours. A better way of keeping track of the work that’s being done is to set regular deadlines for work to be completed. One thing you have to be mindful of though is that, whether working from home or from the office, employees can still only work a certain number of hours each day and must take regular breaks.
Bonus tip – get a reliable conference call provider
Having all the tools you need to do your job is vital for effective telecommuting, and so you’ll need a reliable conference call provider. ConferenceCall.co.uk is the UK’s simplest service.