8 Habits That Could Be Destroying Your PCSeptember 18, 2020
FINDING LONG-TERM SUCCESS IN VIRTUAL PRACTICESeptember 23, 2020
The novel coronavirus pandemic has, of course, impacted the worldwide workplace in many ways. One massive change has been the increased number of employees working from home. And now that firms and employers are finding their employees can work from home successfully, they are considering making that a more permanent option.
Employees of a firm working from home can avoid long and often-stressful commutes, giving them more time in their days and leading to a more positive working experience. Happy employees work harder, are more productive and more loyal. Firms can save money, as well, by reducing the size of their workspaces and cutting down on employee absenteeism.
A downside for firms working from home is that it can be more difficult to communicate with one another, forge relationships and collaborate when everyone is separated. The “human element” of the workplace can be lost when daily interaction no longer exists.
It is necessary that you craft out a teleworking policy to guide your employees and give direction and clarity.
Sally Culley, a partner at RumbergerKirk, who represents employers, both in the public and private sector, in employment-related claims, including claims of discrimination, wage and hour violations, whistle-blower violations, wrongful termination, harassment and retaliation, says a teleworking policy should include:
- The identity of the employees or positions that are eligible for teleworking
- Procedures for requesting a teleworking schedule
- Any requirements for dedicated workspaces and safety concerns
- Timekeeping procedures: clocking in and out, and how and when to take breaks
- The amount of time employees are expected to work each day or pay period
- How the work and productivity will be monitored
- What materials and equipment are required and who will pay for it
- Procedures for addressing IT issues or problems with other equipment
- Who will pay for other things needed to do the work, like phone calls and Wi-Fi?
- What security features are required to protect confidential or trade secret information
- Any dress code requirements for employees who interact by video with others
- Whether the employer has the right to make on-site visits and, if so, under what circumstances
With careful thought and positivity, both you and your employees can benefit from teleworking policies.
Kate Lister, who consults with companies on the future of work as president of Global Workplace Analytics says that “In the long run, it’s all about the money. Saving money is always an attractive proposition for businesses, especially these days. And that’s likely to drive the shift to remote work.
The pandemic has made it more obvious that working from home is possible and has great benefits. This does not totally eliminate face to face meetings when it is necessary to do so. Human contact cannot be entirely eliminated for lawyers as there will be times when it will be necessary. It is something each firm must work out for themselves – the when, the how and the why for physical meetings as they transition to remote working.