The discussion around remote work began when stay-at-home orders were enacted in March and has persisted long after those sanctions have been lifted. Employees have continued to work from home despite city and state reopening’s, suggesting that remote work is here to stay. To prepare for the future of remote work, it is important that businesses provide clear guidance for their remote workforce that is in line with their company values. Whether your company is expanding its investment in remote work, or embracing it for the first time, a comprehensive Remote Work Policy is essential to ensuring employees’ success, regardless of their location.
The two most fundamental aspects of an effective Remote Work Policy are employee expectations and technology requirements. A Remote Work Policy should provide clear expectations of how employees will be supported and held accountable while working remotely, as well as technology requirements to ensure the security and protection of company data outside the office. If you are not sure where to start, provided below is a Remote Work Policy template that can be used as a jumping off point.
Remote Work Policy Template
This Remote Work Policy template can be tailored to your company’s needs to establish expectations regarding telework. This template should be modified to reflect your company’s specific requirements for remote work.
Policy brief & purpose
[Company Name]’s Remote Work policy is designed to ensure working from home is beneficial to both our employees and company.
Remote work is the concept of working from home or another location on a full or part-time basis. Remote work is not a formal, universal employee benefit. Rather, it is an alternative method of meeting the needs of the company and employee.
The company has the right to refuse to make remote work available to an employee and to terminate a remote work arrangement at any time.
Employees are not required to work remotely. Employees have the right to refuse to work remotely if the option is made available.
Successful teleworkers must have the approval of their supervisor/manager. Eligibility for remote work is determined on a case-by-case basis. Employees and managers will mutually determine remote-work eligibility based on [position competency and current performance relative to recurring performance reviews].
Any remote-work qualifications denoted in a position description should be adhered to when determining employee eligibility. Approval will be based on [the suitability of their jobs, an evaluation of the likelihood of their being successful teleworkers, and an evaluation of their supervisor’s ability to manage remote workers].
Should an employee be deemed eligible for remote work by their manager, each supervisor/manager will determine the number of days a week the employee is permitted to work remotely.
Compensation and Work Hours
Employees work remotely or telecommute when they complete their work at a place located outside of our company’s premises. They may work remotely:
- [On certain days]
- [As needed]
Work from home arrangements can be [occasional, temporary, or permanent.]
An employee may be permitted to work remotely on a [flex or full-time basis]. The employee’s compensation, benefits, work status and work responsibilities will not change due to working remotely. The amount of time the employee is expected to work per day or pay period will not change because of participation in the remote work program.
Any employee deemed eligible for remote work must work with their managers to determine their remote-work schedule on [either a weekly or monthly basis]. Employees work schedule will be determined between the manager and employee. Employees who request to work remotely full time will require approval by [approving party]. Any changes made to the employee’s remote work schedule must be submitted to and approved by their supervisor and communicated team members as well as any other colleagues they typically interface with onsite.
Equipment & Tools
Devices & Connectivity
The company may provide specific tools/equipment for the employee to perform his/her current duties. This may include computer hardware, telecommunication/computer software, email, voicemail, connectivity to host applications, and other applicable equipment as deemed necessary. Employees are responsible for providing their own Wi-Fi or Internet Connection [a minimum of 40Mbps internet bandwidth is required] in their remote workspace, at their own expense.
[Employees are not permitted to utilize their company-provided phone as a hotspot to connect to the internet and is not an alternative to the employee provided-Wi-Fi that is required for remote-work]. Should the employee-provided internet connection fail, the employee is responsible for either working from the office or taking PTO until their internet connection is fully restored. The employee is responsible for notifying their manager and communicating whether they will be taking PTO or working from the office.
Remote Employees are required to conduct work exclusively on company-issued devices to ensure network security. Employee must keep all applications/software up to date. Each company-issued device utilized for remote work must have [applicable software, applications] installed, as well as [a VPN connection, network security applications]
Should an employee need specific software, network access, or additional equipment to work remotely, supervisors should contact the party responsible for providing said tools (i.e. IT department) to request installation and a timeline. Employees should only begin remote work upon receiving the necessary tools that will enable them to perform all aspects of their job remotely.
The use of equipment, software, data supplies and furniture when provided by the company for use at the remote work location is limited to authorized persons and for purposes relating to company business. The company will provide for repairs to company equipment. When the employee uses her/his own equipment, the employee is responsible for maintenance and repair of equipment.
Office supplies will be provided by the company as needed. Out-of-pocket expenses for other supplies will not be reimbursed unless by prior approval of the employee’s manager. [Company reimbursement procedure specifics]
The employee shall designate a workspace within the remote work location for placement and installation of equipment to be used while teleworking. The employee shall maintain this workspace in a safe condition, free from hazards and other dangers to the employee and equipment. The company must approve the site chosen as the employee’s remote workspace. Employee is expected submit [three photos] of the remote workspace to management prior to implementation.
Any company materials taken home should be kept in the designated work area at home and not be made accessible to others. Any company materials that leave company premises for the purpose of remote work should be documented and logged by supervisors. Employees will be liable for lost or damaged items.
The company has the right to make on-site visits [with 48 hours advance notice] to the remote work location for purposes of determining that the site is safe and free from hazards, and to maintain, repair, inspect, or retrieve company-owned equipment, software, data or supplies.
The employee’s home workspace will be considered an extension of the company’s workspace. Therefore, the company will continue to be liable for job-related accidents that occur in the employee’s home workspace during the employee’s working hours. [OSHA Compliance]
The company will be liable for injuries or illnesses that occur during the employee’s agreed-upon work hours. The employee’s remote work hours will conform to a schedule agreed upon by the employee and his or her supervisor. If such a schedule has not been agreed upon, the employee’s work hours will be assumed to be the same as before the employee began teleworking.
The company assumes no liability for injuries occurring in the employee’s home workspace outside the agreed-upon work hours.
The company is not liable for loss, destruction, or injury that may occur in or to the employee’s home. This includes family members, visitors, or others that may become injured within or around the employee’s home.
During work hours and while performing work functions in the designated work area of the home, teleworkers are covered by worker’s compensation.
Teleworking is not a substitute for dependent care. Teleworkers will not be available during company core hours to provide dependent care.
It will be the employee’s responsibility to determine any income tax implications of maintaining a remote workspace. The company will not provide tax guidance nor will the company assume any additional tax liabilities. Employees are encouraged to consult with a qualified tax professional to discuss income tax implications.
Managers are responsible for supporting remote employees and helping ensure they are successful in their remote work efforts. Per our [Manager Training, Performance Management Program], the manager must do the following:
- Team meetings – Team must meet a minimum of once a [time frame]
- One-on-Ones - Meet with the employee either in person or by video once a [time frame]
- Performance Reviews – Meet with the employee to review performance once a [time frame]
Manager and employee will put in place an agreed upon mechanism on how employee’s work progress will be tracked. Managers are obligated to account for performance and productivity of employees working remotely.
Employees must be available during [core business hours, timeframe, flex hours]. All client interactions will be conducted on a client or company site. Employees working remotely should still be available for staff meetings, and other meetings deemed necessary by management. Reasonable accommodation attempts must be made to include remote workers in on-site meetings.
Remote work employees who interface with external customers via their office phone must have [soft phone functionality, call forwarding, etc.] before beginning remote work (see Equipment & Tools).
The employee shall agree to participate in all studies, inquiries, reports, and analyses relating to this program.
The employee remains obligated to comply with all company rules, practices, and instructions.
I hereby acknowledge that I have read the [Company] Remote Work Policy.
I will comply with the policy, and I will make every effort to ensure that those over whom I have supervisory control do likewise.
I understand that failure to comply is subject to the remote work option being taken away, and severe Company sanctions up to and including dismissal.
Nearly every industry has been experiencing rapid, substantial change due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. During this time of uncertainty, one of the few things that has remained consistent is the conversation around Remote Work. If you're interested in learning more about Remote Work, check out our Remote Work Webinar Series.