Telecommuting became the new reality for thousands of businesses here in New Jersey. This meant that entire companies, or the majority of the staff, worked from home. It prompted some quick solutions created on the fly. Even as workers are coming back to the office or workplace, managers or owners have struggled to make sure that the workplace observes safety protocols that help reduce the virus’s spread. But while the staff may be coming back in the house, at least on a part-time basis, it is a good idea to formalize a work from home (WFH) policy.
Six steps to creating an effective WFH policy
Every company is different, and each needs to address its issues. Still, here are some general considerations to help formulate one that addresses the needs of the business:
- Determine what positions work: Not all jobs need to be done on-site, so identify those within the organization where a WFH policy makes sense.
- Choose the right candidates: Look at who maintained within reason their performance amidst the pandemic. They were tech-savvy enough to handle Zoom meetings, not be overwhelmed by tech issues and generally were not distracted by family or housemates.
- Check for incentives: There may be state or federal programs that companies can use to set up remote employees and defer those costs.
- Review how it went: Review how it went in recent months and determine what worked and what needs further refinement.
- Management must adjust too: Supervisors may still need to go to the office, but they will need to learn how to manage and motivate staff who are not in the building.
- Formally put it in writing: It is best to put WFH policy in writing even after folks are back in the office. There is no guarantee that the virus will not escalate in the coming winter months or some other issue forces staff out of the office.
WFH policy can benefit a company
Many talented employees who want flexibility will choose companies with a WFH policy, even if the pay is equal or less. Some companies also see increased production and other benefits. Those interested in creating or updating their WFH policy can speak with a knowledgeable employment law attorney. These legal professionals can help ensure it addresses all foreseeable issues and follow all applicable state and federal employment law guidelines.