In today's world, where remote work is becoming increasingly popular, small businesses require formal policies to help them manage their employees. Over the past 12 years, remote working has increased by 159%, indicating that businesses are moving away from an "office-first" culture. Thus, it makes sense for companies to consider how to create a remote work policy regarding their business operations.
A formal work-from-home or remote work policy for SMEs provides clarity and transparency to both employers and employees. Having no company policy causes problems and confusion, as well as disrupts your workforce and generates mutual distrust.
Even though remote work is becoming the norm, more than half of companies do not have a policy on remote work. Here we'll discuss a formal remote work policy for SMEs, what it should include, and how to create a remote work policy for your company.
This article covers:
- What is the Remote Work Policy?
- 5 Steps to Create Remote Work Policy for SMEs
- Plan & Provide Socialization Opportunities
- Outline Organizational Rules for Remote Teams
- Introduce Benefits and Privileges for Workers
- Encourage Usage of Quality Tools Throughout the Organization
- Introduce Playbooks for Setting Standards for Various Operations
Let’s delve into them.
What is the Remote Work Policy?
A remote, flexible, or hybrid work policy details the situations in which employees may work from outside the office, or on a flexible schedule, without having to be physically present at work. Depending on the circumstances, these policies may be temporary or permanent. The legal rights of remote employees are outlined in remote and hybrid work policies. Employees working on a flexible schedule should be provided with flexible work policies to outline expectations clearly.
5 Steps to Create Remote Work Policy for SMEs
Small businesses must adapt to the reality of remote work. The task seems daunting at first glance. Small businesses are usually strapped for resources, and remote work exacerbates the problem. To manage this change, owners must step out of their comfort zones and adopt new processes.
Listed below are a few considerations before putting together a solid remote work policy for SMEs, which can also help you become a good remote leader;
Plan & Provide Socialization Opportunities
Research shows that nearly half (46%) of remote workers believe the best managers are those who communicate frequently and consistently. Your telecommuting remote work policy should address this. It might be a good idea to include a statement in your remote work policy for SMEs that managers should establish daily check-ins with their teams.
On a regular day at work, employees can chat casually with their coworkers. It is important for employees who work from home to socialize at work because it builds relationships and strengthens teams.
Establishing channels of communication that are not related to work can address this issue while you create remote working policy. Slack or Microsoft Teams off-topic channels or regular optional video chats can be set up to allow employees to discuss whatever they like, even if it's not work-related.
Outline Organizational Rules for Remote Teams
Let's consider if you have a remote team unaware of what the organization expects of them. Without clear responsibilities, your team might be tempted to take more extended breaks. They are likely to share more on social media, creating a security risk for your organization.
The details of your company's confidential projects can be made public. They may also be doing unnecessary overtime without the organization's knowledge. These issues can be alleviated by emphasizing the need for professionalism during working hours.
In accordance with the law, those who work more than 40 hours per week are usually entitled to overtime pay. Ensure remote, hourly employees know the number of hours they are permitted to work, how many meal breaks and rest periods they must take according to laws, and what to do if overtime is required.
Your remote work policy for SMEs should include details about how they can "clock in" and "clock out." For overtime, include a statement that remote, hourly workers should obtain permission prior to working additional hours from their supervisor.
Introduce Benefits and Privileges for Workers
The perks can be specific to your organization but should include anything that employees can earn.
For instance, some companies provide stipends for the purchase of equipment needed for work, such as computer monitors or desk equipment. It’s also common for employers to reimburse their employees for office-related expenses such as electricity.
Ensure that you ask your teams what’s important to them before deciding on benefits. Employees can use this information when determining whether they would prefer to work from home or in the office. Provide employees with all perks and stipends so they can make the most informed decision.
Encourage Usage of Quality Tools Throughout the Organization
Technology is making our lives more online. Physically signing documents is not an outdated practice.
Nowadays, remote training tools are vital for business success. Use platforms to sign and distribute contracts, schedule meetings, and store information. Prioritize getting online access to new employees as soon as possible during onboarding. New employees can feel lost without relevant information.
Introduce Playbooks for Setting Standards for Various Operations
Whether you played on a football team, watched a televised analysis of an NFL play, or enjoyed a John Madden video game, you probably have seen examples of a playbook helping a team accomplish its goals. A coach selects plays for the playbook based on a winning strategy. It takes a lot of mental drills to become comfortable and confident with players' roles under varying circumstances, so they follow the playbook repeatedly.
Similarly, in remote work, where there is less communication and a higher chance of ambiguity, there're numerous sets of playbooks that can aid you in collaborating with your team.
Playbook outline the areas where performance will be measured and the metrics that will be counted. In order to achieve milestones, the team uses these metrics to establish baselines, set goals, and define plays or actions.
The process of setting up your remote workforce, especially when unplanned, can become overwhelming. Waybook features helpful playbooks that cover everything from tech logistics to morale to day-to-day activities to assist you in navigating the transition to remote working.
With an emphasis on the key elements required to get started, these playbooks demonstrate how to make your remote work program effective, enjoyable, and sustainable.
Get access to the playbooks and streamline your documentation with the help of Waybook!
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