Transitioning to a distributed workforce overnight has forced many organizations to scramble to implement technology and processes, bypassing the policy side of the equation. If you happen to be caught in that predicament, it’s not too late to discuss, draft and distribute a work from home policy in your organization.
We’ve created a remote work policy template and vetted it with the experts at Distribute Consulting, a leading remote workforce consulting firm. It is designed to guide you through the process of defining your own policy to strengthen virtual communication, streamline digital processes, and develop long-distance management strategies.
Work from Home Policy Template
This remote work policy template intends to provide you with a starting point for the development of your company’s work from home policy. This is meant to be modified to meet your company’s needs and should be considered conceptual content for setting up your organization’s remote employment policy.
Section 1. Policy Overview
Our remote work policy outlines our guidelines for employees who work from a location other than our offices, either on a permanent or temporary basis. The purpose of this policy is to clearly define expectations to ensure that both employees and our company will benefit from this remote work arrangement. Ultimately, the goal is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity so remote employees are productive and successful while working from home. This policy also applies to employees whose primary work location is already remote and outside of our offices.
Section 2. Company Policy & Eligibility
Scope: This work from home policy applies to all our employees who are working from home. Working remotely can be a permanent or temporary agreement between employees and employers to work from a non-office location for more than [Insert #] number of consecutive days. Working from home for a maximum of [insert #] weeks or working from home certain days a week on a recurring basis are situations also covered by this policy.
Employees are allowed to work from home only if their job duties permit it; they have an agreement with management; or as mandated by the organization.
Office-based employees may work remotely for a maximum of [insert #] weeks per year. Eligible employees are those who have been employed by our company for at least [insert amount of time]. Employees who are on short-term/long-term disability or are new parents may agree to longer periods of remote work with their manager/HR. Office-based employees may also transition to a permanent remote working arrangement in the case of relocation. The company will assess eligibility on an individual basis.
Work from home arrangements can fluctuate between permanent (full-time), designated days, or partial scheduling (morning in office; afternoon from home).
Reasons that could require a work from home arrangement include but are not limited to: Emergency situations, Parenting needs, Pandemics, Medical, Emotional (Work-life balance), Commute, and other miscellaneous circumstances as determined by employee and manager.
Requesting Permission to Work from Home:
The following procedure should be followed by employees seeking permission to work from home:
Employees should file a request through email to their manager at least [insert #] days in advance. Their managers must approve their request by taking into consideration the items listed below:
- Is the employee eligible by nature of their job?
- Are collaboration strategies in place for remote engagement across the organization?
- Does the employee have the equipment and software they need in order to complete work remotely, taking into consideration security and data privacy issues?
- Can the employee meet objectives & key results while working remotely?
- Can the employee maintain a schedule that aligns with the needs of the business?
The above items should be discussed in defining a work from home arrangement with the employee.
If the work from home arrangement is permanent or spans for more than [insert #] weeks, employees and managers should have a more in-depth discussion around the details of the arrangement and set specific objectives and key results, schedules, and deadlines.
Section 3: Specific Terms
To ensure successful employee performance in a remote work arrangement, we advise our remote employees to follow the guidelines set forth in this policy. Employees and managers should have frequent conversations to discuss progress against the terms and conditions outlined below.
The following outlines the expectations and responsibilities of remote employees.
- Objectives and Key Results
- Insert the primary goals of the company, team, and role.
- Key Performance Indicators
- List what criteria will be used to measure the productivity and success of the employee. How will the manager assess performance?
- What are the expected response times for the primary communication channels of the team? (ie: Slack, calendar invites, emails and phone calls, etc.)
- Dedicate your full attention to job duties during the working hours of [insert hours here] (note: you’ll want to ensure schedules overlap with the team members necessary to complete work effectively)
- Adhere to break and attendance schedules (company meetings, conferences, etc.) as agreed upon with your manager.
- Compliance with Policies
- Remote employees will be held accountable to the same company policies as their office-based counterparts. Policies that all employees should abide by are listed in Section 4.
- List which expenses will be covered by the employer, and which will be the responsibility of the employee, including office supplies, internet service, office furniture, transportation, event registration, software accounts, etc.
- Create a quiet and distraction-free working space.
- Have an internet connection that’s adequate for their job.
- Leverage video/webcam collaboration tools for meetings.
- Health & Safety – List conditions that must be enforced in any off-site work location to ensure the short- and long-term safety of the worker, including ergonomic equipment, break schedule and/or headset specifications.
- Equipment & Software
- We will provide our remote employees with equipment that is essential to their job duties. Equipment provided will include [list out: laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, cell phone,etc.]
- We will not provide secondary equipment (e.g. printers and monitors)
- We will also install a VPN and company-required software, which may include workforce analytics software or similar. We have the right to any and all information collected and stored on any company owned and issued device.
- Any equipment provided to the remote employee by the employer, is company property. It is the employee’s responsibility to keep company property safe and to avoid any misuse. Specifically, employees must:
- Keep their equipment password protected, and update passwords every [insert #] days.
- Store equipment in a safe and clean space when not in use.
- Follow all data encryption protection standards and settings.
- Install security and software updates when prompted.
- Refrain from downloading suspicious, unauthorized or illegal software.
- Refrain from visiting suspicious or unauthorized websites.
- Compensation and benefits
- Work from home arrangements usually don’t affect employees’ employment terms. Compensation is determined by job role. If working from home has any effect on compensation and benefits, then HR must create a new employment contract.
- Remote employees will receive [insert dollar amount here] per month as a work from home allowance to cover remote work office-related expenses (e.g. electricity, internet, office supplies).
- If we request a remote employee to visit our office(s) we will reimburse travel expenses as outlined in our Travel and Expense policy.
If terms outlined above are not met, we retain the right to terminate the Work from Home agreement.
Section 4: Resources for Remote Employees (customize and insert links to the following)
- Employment Agreement
- Attendance Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Employee Code of Conduct
- Employee Proprietary Information Agreement
- Internet Usage Policy
- Employee Monitoring Policy
- Anti-Discrimination/Equal Opportunity
- Travel & Expense Policy
- Company Directory
- Employee Handbook
- IT Help Desk request form
- Corporate Announcements/News
For any questions or concerns regarding this policy, or any company policies, please refer to your Human Resources representative [insert contact information here].
Disclaimer: Neither the author nor ActivTrak will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy. This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference document only. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. We strongly advise consulting legal counsel or a certified consultant before implementing policies in any organization.