If you decide to offer a telecommuting program, it is recommended that you create a policy and follow it consistently. In addition, any employee who telecommutes should sign an agreement stating that they have read and understood the policy and acknowledge that any violations of the policy may result in disciplinary action.
When creating a policy, the following is recommended:
- Have all telecommuting arrangements made on a case-by-case basis and with advance approval, based on the needs of the company.
- Require a trial period for all telecommuters.
- Give consideration to operational requirements, the job duties of the employee, and the employee’s work performance and attendance.
- Communicate clear performance expectations for work done outside the office.
- Note that the company will not be responsible for costs associated with initial setup of the employee’s home office or for repairs or modifications to the home office space, unless the employee will need a particular set up that you would like to provide. Note also the expectation that telecommuting employees keep their work spaces safe (e.g., no loose cords along walkways).
- State that any equipment supplied by the company should be used for business purposes only, appropriately protected from damage and theft (e.g., locked drawers, password maintenance) and returned to the company upon termination of employment.
- Institute a system for tracking the hours of non-exempt employees.
If you have any telecommuting employees who are not regularly in the office, it is recommended that you send them all required state and federal employment notices (posters on minimum wage, family leave, etc.) to ensure you are in compliance. You may also consider supplying employees who telecommute with appropriate office supplies or reimbursing them for any other approved business-related expenses.
Telecommuting can be a good work arrangement in certain circumstances, but you should be clear about the purpose it serves and what your expectations are for employees who work outside the company office.
Should you have any additional questions regarding this or other employee topics, contact the professionals at CyQuest for help!