When it comes to setting up a remote office for your employee, communication isn’t the only critical piece to consider. It’s also important to have a separate (or additional) work policy in place so expectations are clear for everyone, and business operations won't be disrupted.
Here are some questions to consider when formulating a new or additional telecommuting employee policy:
Devices. Whose computer and devices will your employee use – the company’s or their own? What if something breaks – what should they do? What kind of data protection program or anti-virus software should they install? Who pays for what?
Internet Access. What if the internet connection is slower at the employee’s home or remote office location? Will this affect work flow, communication, and employee productivity?
Office Supplies. Who will pay for general office supplies like paper and pens? Do you have a purchase approval or reimbursement policy in place?
Workstation/Office Setup. Will you care how your employee’s workstation is set up? Does it matter if it’s clean or messy, or if the equipment is in a secure location? Do you want to explore insurance options? Is the space a welcome place for clients, if meetings are needed? Would it make sense for you to provide your employee with an office space near their home instead of allowing them to work at home?
Accountability. Will you implement a routine for meeting, getting updates, and seeing work progress? When would you like to be updated? How often should you meet in person or over conference calls to receive updates?
Job Descriptions. Ultimately, what positions in your company will you allow to work remotely? Depending on the nature of your business, not all job descriptions may be a good fit for telecommuting. Have good and logical reasons to say yes or no if an employee asks to work from home.
Remember, the end goal by allowing people to telecommute is to gain more productivity and efficiency within your business. Don’t lose sight of your goal while coming up with a plan.