TerraLex Remote Work Checklist for Employers
While home office or remote work used to be a rare benefit for many employees, it has become a must or a norm during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employers plan to retain or establish this flexible working arrangement as part of their new routine. What are the practical considerations, tips, and tricks when introducing or adapting the remote work that employers should bear in mind? Our checklist will help you to navigate through these issues.
Special thanks to members of the TerraLex Labor & Employment Practice Group for preparing this checklist. For further questions, please feel free to reach out to any of the contributors, a TerraLex member with whom you have a relationship, or a member of the TerraLex team.
- Develop a clear transition plan and communicate it effectively. Ensure workers know who to contact with concerns, needs, etc.
- Schedule virtual meetings of various teams or departments. These may need to be done with greater frequency than during in-office working arrangements to account for the loss of casual discussion, etc.
- Ensure leadership makes itself available to workers as they may be more hesitant to reach out in a virtual environment. Encourage leadership to be proactive in checking in with workers on workload, concerns, and general wellbeing.
- Ensure the worker has access to internet and technological resources (software, hardware, printers, phone, etc.) to complete his/her tasks. Going paperless should also be considered to minimize issues related to sharing hardcopy documents.
- If using his/her own equipment, consider worker’s obligations to maintain that equipment and what happens if the equipment fails or there is a security breach.
- If a worker must procure services such as high-speed internet or equipment, consider what, if any, will be reimbursed or subsidized by the company.
- Evaluate the need for any changes to insurance policies, including workers compensation, to account for work from home policies.
- Advise and educate workers on proper home office ergonomic practices while working from home.
- Provide access to employee assistance programs remotely and promote the resources available to workers. Encourage workers use and take advantage of these programs as needed.
Training & Development
- Transition training programs and resources to be accessible when working from home by using online webinars, etc.
- Set the expectation with leaders and supervisors to continue to connect with and mentor workers while working from home.
Time, Attendance, & Conduct
- Have a system in place to monitor worker time, whether through self-reporting or an online timekeeping system.
- Consider flexible working arrangements and communicate them clearly to workers. Ensure workers and leadership understand if there are specific hours when business may not be conducted or workers may not be contacted regarding work.
- Ensure that workers are aware of the dress code while working from home, attending office virtual meetings as well as during the execution of any company work outside their homes.
- Consider your policy on having camera on for videoconference calls and the like.
- Don’t forget to help your remote workers maintain a work/life balance.
- Consider the legal and tax implications of allowing workers to work anywhere (another jurisdiction, for example) and what the reporting requirements of such an arrangement will be.
- Review any employment contracts and/or internal policies in place to determine if it’s necessary to modify them given work from home arrangements.
- Consider whether any worker representative body (e.g. works council) is to be involved in the process of introducing work from home and/or mobile work.
- Consider data protection and IP issues
Posted April 28, 2021