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With remote working on the rise, companies are adopting more policies that focus on working from home. But when should you use one of these policies? And how do you go about writing one?
We explore the ins and outs of creating a Working From Home Policy, so you'll feel more assured when it comes to writing up your own.
What is a Working From Home Policy?
A Working From Home Policy is a set of rules and regulations that clearly outline what is expected from remote workers i.e. employees who are typically based away from the office. As well as clearly defining an employer's expectations, it also addresses the circumstances in which employees can work from home, and the procedures in place to support them.
Download this template at Lawpath
When should I use a Working From Home Policy?
A Working From Home Policy can be introduced for several reasons. For example, if:
- You've employed a remote worker,
- An existing employee requires more flexible working conditions,
- Changes in circumstances require more employees to work from home.
Whatever the reason, a Working From Home Policy should be put in place before an employee begins to work independently from the office. This way, all parties involved will understand expectations and procedures from the beginning.
Working From Home Policy vs Remote Work Agreement
A Working From Home Policy and a Remote Work Agreement can both be used to regulate and manage employees that work away from the office.
While a Working From Home Policy addresses the team across the business, a Remote Work Agreement tends to be specific to an individual and their circumstances. As well as general expectations and rules, a Remote Work Agreement will also specify details such as an employee's salary, their work duties and obligations.
What does a Working From Home Policy include?
Along with outlining the rights and responsibilities of an employee when they work from home, a Working From Home Policy should also address how an employee can start to work at home and any processes that will facilitate the move to remote working.
While there may be no legal obligations regarding what to include in a Working From Home Policy, here are a few things to consider:
- Who is eligible to work from home?
- Is there an approval process for working from home?
- What are the working hours?
- How can employees log their work hours?
- What communication channels should remotely based employees use?
- Are any expenses available to employees for setting up their home office?
- How can you ensure the health and safety of your employees who are working at home?
How effective is a Working From Home Policy?
A Working From Home Policy helps your employees to be as successful as possible while working out of the office. It can be an effective tool in providing remote employees with more structure and creating a productive working environment.
Do I need a lawyer for a Working From Home Policy?
Strictly speaking, a lawyer isn't essential for writing up a Working From Home Policy. It can be useful, however, to have a legal professional look over your final document to prevent any misunderstandings or issues with employees further down the line.
Get access to customisable Working From Home Policy templates online
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How do I write a Working From Home Policy?
Working From Home Policies vary a great deal across different businesses and industries, with no two containing the same things.
When it comes to writing the right policy for your business, it's important to sit down and consider some key aspects of how you want this aspect of your business to run. You may want to think about the following:
- Which employees are you happy to work from home?
- What are your expectations regarding your remote workers?
- How will you communicate effectively with employees working from home?
- What measures will keep the business digitally secure when it moves outside of the office?
- Will the business cover any additional expenses?
- How will you ensure the safety of your employees who are working from home?
Where to get free legal documents and templates like a Working From Home Policy
If you're not sure where to start when you're drafting up your policy, you'll find loads of information online including Working From Home Policy guidelines and templates. Here are where to find some.
- Lawpath. An online legal resource featuring plenty of free templates. You can browse the Working From Home Policy in Australia for free, but you'll need to pay to customise and download it.
- LegalVision. Users can access unlimited legal templates for a monthly membership fee, or a one-time fee. This includes a Working From Home Policy.
- Wonder.Legal. Browse hundreds of legal templates on Wonder Legal for free. To download a Working From Home Policy, you'll be asked to pay a one-time fee.
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