Coronavirus: Best Practices for a Work From Home Policy
I have worked at 2W Tech for about 5 years now and that entire time, I have worked from my home office. During the hours of 7-5 pm, my house is unoccupied except for myself. After 5, the family comes home from their full-time jobs or my son gets home from practice for whatever sports season he is in. Fast forward 1 week, and my work-home balance has taken a huge hit. Whether you have a regular work from home schedule or are able to work remote as needed, it is vital that your workers are set up for success. The best way to ensure success for your business against the Coronavirus, is to set up best practices for a work from home policy.
Moving work from an office environment to telecommuting is an important step in reducing the impact of this Coronavirus pandemic. This can be quite the adjustment for those who have not telecommuted before and can be stressful. Planning and communication is vital and unfortunately with the speed of this pandemic, we have not had the time to properly plan and communicate. But it is not too late to make changes and to practice on-going communication.
As the days we are forced to work from home continue, your business should look to introduce a work from home program with specific guidelines to ensure all employees understand what is required from them when they work remotely. The key elements of a work from home policy should include:
- Having the proper technology in place: Computer, email, phone conferencing, access to internal networks
- Secure connection: Secured Wi-Fi network and work with a trusted virtual private network (VPN). Your home network is not secure enough!!! You need to ensure your transmitted data is encrypted.
- Regular communication: I have a weekly standing call with my boss to ensure we have a set time to communicate on where issues stand. Teams, Skype, Slack are just a few apps available to make the communication easier. You should also give the choice of communication through phone, email, messaging, or video conference.
- Set clear expectations: This could include instructions for their daily work schedule, your company’s overtime policy, description of a dedicated work-space, instructions for reporting personal injury and damage to company equipment, and protection of proprietary company information. Your work from home policy should address any areas that are crucial to your business and your employees roles in them.
- Continue to evaluate and re-evaluate: After 1 month, 3 months, etc. take a look at home the work from home policy is working and make adjustments as needed. If something isn’t working, change the policy to fix it.
- TRUST-TRUST-TRUST: The only way that a work from home situation is effective, is if your trust your employees and your employees trust you.
We understand that this in uncharted waters for many businesses. Please know that 2W Tech is here for you in this trying time. If you need guidance on work from home policies or if you need help ensuring you have the proper technology tools in place, give us a call today. 2W Tech is a technology service provider specializing in technology for the manufacturing industry. We are an Epicor Gold Partner, as well as a Microsoft Gold partner.