March 13, 2020

Working Remotely – What This Means For Employers

Keep Track of Hours Worked. If your employees do not have the ability to keep track of their hours worked through an online app, you should think about implementing a policy for how employees are to keep track of hours worked when they are home. You can utilize an online app through a mobile device. You should contact your payroll company as they may have options for online applications. Alternatively, you can require employees to email a supervisor when they log in and log out. Before you send your hourly, non-exempt workers home to work remotely, make sure you develop a policy for keeping track of the hours they work and that this policy is clearly communicated.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. A remote workforce can make communication between co-workers challenging. In addition, it can be difficult to communicate expectations to your workforce when your workforce is not physically present. Managers and supervisors should be encouraged to have daily communication via e-mail or video conference with staff to communicate expectations for the day. By doing daily check ins, employees will continue to have structure and routine that is essential for making a remote workforce productive.

Circulate Remote Workplace Policy. You should re-circulate your remote workforce policy to all employees prior to commencing a remote workplace. If you do not have a remote workplace policy, you should develop one as soon as possible. This policy should reiterate proper use of company equipment, social media usage, and conduct standards. By circulating a clear policy, you are communicating to your employees your expectations and reminding employees of proper conduct while online.

Do Not Forget About ADA, Title VII, And Harassment Policies. Working remotely does not change an employer’s legal requirement to be compliant with anti-discrimination laws, anti-harassment policies and to provide reasonable accommodations. Remind your managers and supervisors that their conduct remotely must continue to be compliant with these policies.

As you prepare for a remote workplace, be mindful to review your policies and communicate expectations to your employees. A clear, well-thought out remote workforce policy will assure customers and vendors that you are prepared and will help reduce the impact on your business. If you need any guidance as you make this transition, please contact Megan Knowlton Balne at 856.355.2936.