The coronavirus has affected countries, families and businesses the world over in ways unseen for decades. Everyone has taken a hit and for your business, that could mean having to revamp your working procedures and policies
One of those policies will be your working from home policy. Do you have one in place? Or, are your employees already working from home?
If not, it’s something you’ll have to consider sooner rather than later. When doing so, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.
Your duty of care towards your workforce remains the same regardless of where they work. So, whether they’re working in another office, a client’s office, or at home, you’re still responsible for them.
Before a homeworking situation begins, you’ll need to consider certain criteria. For instance, you’ll need to carry out a risk assessment of the property. You’ll also need to ensure the employee has everything they need to work remotely. All health & safety checks will also need to be outlined within your company policy.
It’s understandable that you’ll have your suspicions when it comes to employees working from home. After all, not being able to supervise staff during work could leave you thinking that employees will cut back on actual work.
However, if you’re transparent in your expectations of employees who work at home, this is unlikely to be a real issue. Trusting employees to continue to carry out their work as normal is key to a successful transition to remote working.
Put systems in place
The best way to approach home working is to set targets for those employees, much in the same way you do for office-based staff. Implementing a reporting system, for instance, where the employee lets you know what they have completed in that time frame, is crucial. This will allow you to maintain a degree of control over their activities and ask them to justify why tasks are not being completed on time.
Any homeworking policy should outline your right to terminate the arrangement at any time if it’s not productive. Make it clear to the employee that they may face disciplinary action if their conduct is not up to the usual expected standards.
We’ve begun to see workplaces close following government advice and the implementation of new measures. Sadly, many more face the same fate in the coming weeks.
To ensure your business is prepared to handle such a situation, consider your remote working policies now.
Need our help?
For instant advice on how to protect your business during the coronavirus outbreak, call our advisors on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.