Working from home policies: Your 9 point checklist
Following on from his recent article on the subject, specialist employment and HR solicitor, Chris Dobbs offers the 9 points that all HR managers and business owners should consider when writing a working from home policy.
We offer an 'oven-ready' working from home policy that employers can include in their policies and procedures for a fixed fee. You can read about this service here.
Chris' list of 9 points to consider is set out below.
Working from home policies: what needs to be included?
Types of Homeworker
You may want to distinguish between permanent homeworkers (whose place of work may be their residential address) and employees who are allowed to work from home but who are employed to work from the business location.
Health and Safety
Easy to overlook but the employer duty extends to people working from their home office. This means the desk, chair and IT equipment as well as the psychological issues associated with remote and isolated working should all be considered. What measures will you implement to ensure that homeworkers are not overworking?
Most business premises are locked and alarmed with restricted staff access. How will you manage physical security if someone is working at their kitchen table or in a café?
Technology and IT Systems
Do staff have access to all the technology they need to do their job? The system might be encrypted and password protected but if their Wi-Fi isn’t properly secure this will be of very little help.
Supervision and Contact
It’s easy to spend 8 hours a day in your spare bedroom or at the kitchen table without realising you haven’t spoken to another human. How will staff stay in contact and how will supervision of work take place remotely?
Data Protection and Confidentiality
This will vary depending on the sector but almost every business deals with some kind of data processing or confidential business information from time to time. The teenager at home might be an excellent source of IT support but they’re also a potential source of a data breach.
Home Working Requests
Do you want to formalise the process by which these are made? Will managers be able to identify when a request to work from home might more properly be a statutory flexible working request? It may be helpful to set out the things which will be considered in deciding on a homeworking request.
Home Working Agreements
It could be helpful to have an agreed plan set out in writing so that everyone concerned knows what has been agreed and the expectations of the arrangement. Office managers/HR are likely to be very appreciative of this from a logistical point of view.
This is not a legal requirement but will go a long way to ensuring that there is uniformity in how requests are managed. It also allows clear expectations to be established which apply to all homeworkers.
Having given consideration to our working from home policies and procedures, the employment team at Frettens are able to offer our oven-ready Working From Home Policy as it stands for £125 plus VAT.
Specialist Employment Solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and The New Forest
Our specialist employment law & HR team have advised many businesses and employees on such matters.
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