With there being a continued interest in working from home, more companies are offering fully remote jobs or increasing flexible schedules.
This is exciting and many employees are thrilled to have the opportunity to work from home! And according to some recent stats, it is estimated that 22% of the workforce (That’s 36.2 Million Americans) will work remotely by 2025.
This means your company must have a remote work policy in place. And at the minimum, if you offer any flexible work, must include a section in the employee handbook about it.
Whether you are creating a remote policy from scratch or want to revamp your current one, this remote work policy checklist will help you build a successful guide.
Plus, we have a simple remote work policy template you can follow as well. Let’s dive in!
- What Is A Remote Work Policy?
- Reasons Why You Need a Remote Work Policy
- What Should A Remote Work Policy Include?
- Remote Work Policy Template
What Is a Remote, Flexible, or Hybrid Work Policy?
A remote, flexible, or hybrid work policy is the agreement that your company creates to outline the remote guidelines that employees can follow. This policy describes how and when employees can work from home, best practices, and legal rights.
The reason your company should have a remote work policy in place is it clears up any confusion about the stance on working outside the office. Plus, it establishes what the expectations are for a flexible work schedule.
And when employees understand your policies and remote work culture, it’s easier for them to be productive and know exactly what is required.
Remote Work Questions To Answer
In order to address your remote work policy efficiently, you want to start creating a list of questions. Write these different questions done and make sure you have a specific answer for each. This will help guide your work from home policy in the right direction.
- Are we going fully remote, hybrid, or adding flexible options (like Flex Fridays)?
- Which roles can easily move to remote? Which roles may be more challenging?
- How will we address any hourly or part-time remote workers going forward?
- Do compensation and salary structures change? Do we offer stipends for home offices and equipment?
- What remote tools and gear do we need for effective communication and collaboration?
- How will our company communicate and schedule meetings going forward?
- What goals and performance metrics will we monitor for remote workers?
- How do we ensure professional development and career growth for remote workers?
- What’s the best way to effectively distribute our remote work views and culture to the company?
Reasons Why You Need a Remote Work Policy
Whether you are a fully remote company, are being more flexible, or considering becoming remote-first, you will need a strong remote work policy in place. And it doesn’t matter if your company is a few employees or thousands distributed around the world, it’s critical to cover how your company views remote work.
As simple as it might be to just send a message to the whole organization via email or Slack, it’s best to get official documents down to eliminate any potential conflicts. Here are a few reasons why it is so important.
- You migrate risk before it even happens
- Allows remote work to become scalable
- Eliminates confusion about what’s allowed
- Helps you attract more top remote talent
- Gives your company a new competitive advantage
- Enhances productivity and happiness among employees
What Should A Remote Work Policy Include?
Your company’s remote work policy should include all the essentials that help employees completely understand the vision, guidelines, conditions, and expectations when they work from home. You may go even further and create an in-depth remote handbook for employees.
Whatever your company decides, at the bare minimum a remote work policy is a must-have.
Remote Policy Checklist
Here is the remote work policy checklist to ensure your policy is in great shape:
- Purpose of the Policy
- Mission, Vision, Values
- Company Stance on Remote Work
- Who Is Eligible for Working Remotely
- Guidelines & Other Work Policies
- Remote Worker Expectations
- Remote Communication
- Remote Tools & Equipment
- Insurance & Liability Information
- Security & Data Compliance
- Compensation & Career
Remote Work Policy Template
Want to create your company’s first remote work policy? Maybe you want to revamp your current remote policy to be better? Awesome! Below is a remote work policy template you can use to restructure your current one.
Feel free to get creative with your copy, don’t make it super confusing or full of legal jargon. You want the policy to be accessible, interesting, and easily understood.
P.S. If you want more insights, here are a few companies that are clear about how they work remotely and their remote work policies:
Sample Remote Work Policy Template
Below is a general remote work policy template that you can follow. Use this format as a guideline to help your company create its first remote policy or to upgrade your current one.
Here is where you will write about the purpose of your remote work policy document and why it is important to the company + employees. Be descriptive, but make it easy for employees to read. You don’t need extreme details in this section.
[Mission & Values]
What does your company believe in? And how does your company support remote, flexible, or hybrid work? How does your organization support diversity & inclusion?
Make it all clear and engaging.
[Why Remote Work]
Put a short section on why remote, flexible, hybrid, or a combo of work options is available to employees. But also include why the company leadership believes in these work options as well.
[Terms & Conditions]
Using “terms and conditions” sounds pretty corporate and legal, so feel free to use another headline term to describe this next section. You still want to have your legal team review it to ensure protection, but it also doesn’t need to bore your remote workers.
You’ll want to cover who is eligible (unless your company is going completely remote) and why. Be clear about what roles are eligible, how to meet those conditions to work from home, and how to get permission to do so.
2. Guidelines & Other Company Policies.
Every company will have rules and guidelines beyond the remote work policy. Be sure to spell this out clearly, as well as any disciplinary actions for violating the terms. There should be no surprises for employees.
3. Remote Worker Expectations.
Clearly define the expectations of employees who are remote or work from home part of the week. This is the area to describe the quality of work, reports, and meeting deadlines. As well as what kind of hours are allowed during the week. Also, include how goals are set and performance will be measured.
With remote work, communication and collaboration are extremely important. In this section of your remote work policy describe the communication process, what’s expected, and the ways to better communicate during the week.
It might be good to describe how you expect employees to communicate, tools, tone, how to be clear in communicating as a remote worker, etc. Provide tips, it can be incredibly helpful to your people!
You want to make it clear that your company encourages sharing, open communication, and transparency.
5. Tools & Equipment
Often remote work policies forget to discuss the tools the companies use. To better enable your remote teams, share what platforms and tools they’ll have access to. And share what they are used for and why they matter to the business.
Additionally, include any info about your home stipend (if you offer one), product recommendations, and other essential home office items your company thinks would benefit the team.
6. Insurance & Liability.
Insurance is important and including this in your remote work policy is a must. Remote workers should still have access to any benefits and worker’s compensation that in-office employees would have.
This is the section where you’d want to include the important items around insurance and liability. It might get quite lengthy, so what you can do is bulleted items that link back to the more in-depth employee handbook items.
As boring as talking about security and data might be to employees, it MUST be included in your remote work policy. The importance of securing data, company information, and protecting company equipment is necessary for all to understand.
Include the measures taken by the company, steps employees must adhere to, how to handle company equipment and use, etc.
Cybersecurity is a big problem in the world and remote work can leave employees more susceptible without clear guidelines and tips.
8. Compensation & Career.
Cover all the basics about compensation and career growth. Remote employees should know how salaries are structured and how any potential raises are applied.
You’ll want to include any efforts by the company that helps employees grow and develop their professional skills. As well as any info about reimbursements for equipment, internet, phone, etc. that might be offered.
[Remote Employee Form]
If your company deems this necessary, you can request any employee working from home sign a form acknowledging the policy. Typically, this is done via the onboarding of new employees. But if you are just introducing a remote work policy, then it will be good to have HR collect signatures from everyone.
Job Title: ________________
Remote Work Location:
Phone Number: ________________
Any Requests: ________________
I have read, fully understand, and accept the terms and conditions described in this document. I understand and agree with all the expectations, duties, obligations, and responsibilities discussed in the document.
Employee Signature: ________________ Date:______________
Manager Signature:________________ Date:_______________