Adopting Remote Work the Legal Way: Tips and Reminders for Employers

Remote Work

Now more than ever, many employers and executives have come to realize the power and benefits of remote work. As of this writing, strict community quarantine and lockdown protocols are being enforced globally due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. As a result, many businesses had to pause their in-office and on-site operations temporarily.

If your company or team’s projects and tasks are primarily done online, it’s possible to try switching to a remote work setup. Work-from-home arrangements can be conducive for those whose job requires them to work on a computer. Most likely, they can do the same work at home.

Adopting a remote work environment will have you come up with clear and specific guidelines. The best way to devise these guidelines is with the assistance of an employment attorney in Denver to ensure that they do not clash against labor laws. But to give you ideas, here are some tips and reminders to keep in mind if you’re considering telecommuting.

Create a Foolproof Work From Home Policy

To make remote work doable for your company, you have to set clear rules and guidelines. However, these guidelines also need to adhere to labor laws. One of the challenges you’ll face has to do with FLSA violations. If your employees work beyond 40 hours a week, you need to pay them for overtime. If you want to ensure that you are only paying them for hours they spend on work, it’s best to use a time tracking software.

Then, there’s also the anti-discrimination and disability-related concerns. You must exercise remote work support for all of your employees. Furthermore, you also must ensure that you help your remote employees have a conducive work environment at home. You also need to have specific guidelines concerning data security.

Think About Availability and Responsiveness Concerns

When you shift to a work-from-home setup, it’s crucial to devise a plan on how your team will communicate. Collaboration and communication are major keys that make the remote setup beneficial. You need to set rules to make sure that your remote employees follow communication best practices, and that they are responsive during work hours.

Speaking of work hours, you also need to specify how many hours your employees are required to work and which hours during the day. Are you giving them full flexibility, or will you have them work in a 9-to-5 pattern?

working from home

Provide online tools and, if possible, tech devices and equipment.

Working from home will only work if your employees have the tools and equipment needed to get their job done at home. You may need to provide them a computer if they don’t have one that meets your company’s requirements. You should also provide online tools for project management, communication, collaboration, and security.

Set clear productivity metrics.

You probably already have KPI metrics in place for your on-site employees. However, you may need to tweak them to accommodate this new work-from-home arrangement. Once you have the productivity metrics finalized, see to it that you discuss them with your staff.

Learn as you go.

Nothing is ever perfect. Switching to a remote work setup may have you and your team adjusting for a while. As you go along, you need to be open to new things and be willing to change guidelines now and then until you finally get everything right.

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