Remote Access Policy For The WFH Culture
As the current pandemic reaches its one-year milestone, there's an excess of research and trials on remote work policies. Remote work allows a fairer work-life balance to employees and can also boost their satisfaction with the job. However, remote working also has its own share of cons, such as threats of data breaches and contract-based complications. Based on this point-of-view, you might ask yourself, what should my remote policy cover?
Your remote policy should cover these areas: productivity, communications, cybersecurity, job requirements, remote work environment. These are the key points required to duplicate a beneficial remote workplace. A remote work policy ideally aims to keep productivity and organizational security intact throughout off-site work conditions.
C-level executives need to envision a remote policy that encompasses all areas of workplace efficiency. Here's an insight into the five aspects of an effective and workable remote policy.
What Should My Remote Work Policy Cover?
Since your employees are most likely to integrate advanced workplace technology in their jobs, your remote work policy will have to be tech-savvy as well. Here's what this may mean within your administrative framework:
1. Productivity Guidelines
Productivity in remote work is fundamentally different from that of an office environment. With onsite work, you have a controlled work environment that maintains a check on employee contribution and project status. In short, it's easier to point out the highs and dips of employee productivity.
With work from home, things tend to be a bit more complicated. You have to figure out how to keep getting work updates and feedbacks through virtual connectivity. The technological barrier may remove some of the personal touches that are there in onsite interaction.
This is why productivity parameters vary with remote work, so you should make these a great deal into consideration.
Communications, both technically and organizationally, can be a big problem if you don't sort them out in advance.
The Technical Aspect
The technical part of communications refers to what technology you and your employees use to communicate and share work. Some questions to ask yourself are:
What apps and software programs will you use for distributing work?
What modes of communication will be the most feasible for sharing updates and answering queries?
What your budget when it comes to subscribing for paid versions?
Will you use the same subscription plans across the board, or will they vary from person to person?
The Organizational Aspect
Remote workers and their employees generally do not have in-person interaction with many people from the organization. Therefore, their online communication skills need to be topnotch in order to keep the workflow smooth. Some key questions to consider here may include:
How frequently do should employees update and respond to each other and to their employers?
Do they need to be available round-the-clock or are there fixed timings for communication?
Will any surveillance systems be operating to keep an eye on inter-employee and interdepartmental communication?
How will you minimize technological limitations when it comes to communication?
Navigating cyberspace can be a bit challenging for businesses because online work can become more susceptible to data breaches. Companies may have some of their data stored in Internet archives. However, the security challenge goes up to a whole new level when you involve a host of employees and other office staff.
In order to guard your online data transfer, you may begin with working on a cybersecurity contract with those who choose to work remotely. This security contract shall involve an entire set of protocols for transferring different types of information.
Some C-level executives might prefer to install antimalware programs in their employees. Moreover, there are options to have your own customized networking platform as a part of your policy. This will help in keeping up with all employee activity and preventing internal and external security attacks.
4. Job Requirements
Allowing someone to work remotely also requires that online working does not affect the nature of their job. There are various job and hierarchical categories through which the employers may want to factor. Here's what usually goes into these considerations:
Will remote working be permanent or temporary for certain employees or departments?
Will they be required to report during office hours, or would their timings vary?
Will the employee's job run unaffected by remote work?
Does the employee have enough technical skills to work from home?
Would you demand the employee to report to the office once in a while?
Will the shift be accompanied by a change in salaries?
Is the employee in question responsible enough to handle work from home?
Will promotions and demotions occur in the same manner in remote work as they do in onsite work?
5. Logistical Arrangements
Logistics have a huge effect on the work quality you receive from remotely functioning employees. Therefore, it is necessary to check that their remote location provides access to all sorts of facilities that employees get in the workplace. Here are some areas you might cover in your remote work policy:
Does the employee have access to suitable hardware and software required for their job? This includes stationery supplies, devices, files, software programs with the right versions, and so on
Does the employee have a workspace that is not distractive? This includes the room environment, lighting, people in their surroundings, and so forth
Work from home certainly has its own perks for both employees and employers. However, designing an elaborate remote work policy requires a complex, multilayered thought process. If you choose to provide them the choice to work from outside the office, you’ll have to forge a separate set of guidelines.
Here, we’ve listed the five key components that make up a remote work policy. All these revolve around the relationship of employees with their organization and are critical in ensuring a bump-free remote work journey!