Why are more people working from home?The Office for National Statistics’ figures confirm there were 1.3 million employees working from home in 1998, which shot up to 4.2 million by 2014. As the digital revolution continues, more opportunities for remote working become available. It’s not surprising to see businesses letting their staff take advantage. There are plenty of reasons why working from home is an attractive policy. For some workers, it may seem like a dream come true. But while it’s obvious many workers would prefer this option, you should also consider the benefits for your business. These include:
- Cutting overhead costs with a decrease in rent, utility bills, business rates etc.
- Happier and more productive staff, with no more commuting to open up a better work-life balance.
- Improved staff retention, as happy staff will be more inclined to stay on.
- A decrease in sick days, with workers affected by a cold or flu more inclined to work from home, as well as home workers less likely to get ill due to decreased stress.
- Better talent pool, with a chance to hire international staff.
Work from home policy templateWith the above in mind, you may want to offer eligible staff the chance to work from home. Some staff members may have already approached you about the possibility. If you’re open to it, then you’ll need to draft a work from home policy. Where do you start? Well, below we’ve provided a sample work from home policy template. You can refer to it to see what will be involved in allowing staff to work remotely, as it’s a bit more complicated than making sure they have a working laptop and internet connection. There are certain factors to consider, such as whether it will be an occasional work from home policy, or if your staff will be in a different time zone. You can read the template for guidance on these possibilities, or contact us for specific advice regarding your industry.
Work From Home Policy GuidelinesOur work from home policy applies to workers who would prefer to work from home. This policy has been created to ensure working from home is viable for our workers, as well as beneficial for them and our business.
Can employees work from home?If their job duties permit it, employees are allowed to work from home. This will be determined by the appropriate line manager—any workers with a customer facing role, for instance, are unlikely to be eligible. Our employees who carry out the majority of their work at a computer could be allowed to work off-site. This will be arranged after discussions with the appropriate line manager. Working from home policies Employees are classed as working from home, or telecommuting, when tasks are completed outside of the business' premises. Employees may work from home:
- On certain days.
- By dividing time between office work and a remote location.
- Overlong commute
- Family commitments (parenting etc.)
- Medical reasons
- Better work-life balance
Who gets to work from home?If their job duties permit it, employees can work from home. The factors can be decided by the appropriate line manager, but the following are also for the employee’s consideration:
- Does the nature of their role make them eligible?
- What cybersecurity/data privacy challenges does remote working pose?
- Will collaboration with other team members be hindered?
- Do employees have access to the right equipment or software?
- Is the employee’s home suitable as a working environment?
ProcedureIf a worker has decided to work from home, they should:
- Contact the relevant manager, who must approve the request considering the factors outlined above
- If working from home is for over a week, then managers and staff should discuss how this affects business goals, schedules, and project deadlines
Time zonesIn the event a staff member is in a different time zone and needs to work from home, it may not be possible to have this request approved in time. In this instance, the business allows the staff member to work from home. However, they must notify the HR department and check in with their line manager as soon as possible.
Compensation and benefitsIn most instances, employees’ employment terms aren’t affected by working from home. HR is responsible for creating a new employment contract should this arrangement change a worker’s compensation and benefits.
End of work from home template
The right to requestEmployers should also remember the following—eligible employees (those who have 26 weeks service and have not made a statutory request in the last 12 months) have a right to request flexible working. This can include a request to work from home. This means, in certain circumstances, you might be faced with a statutory request. If this is the case, you should know you have a legal duty to consider it. However, there’s no legal obligation to agree to the request.
For anything else…Looking for more expert advice? You can get in touch with us for help. You can use our callback form to arrange a talk with us, or you can get in touch right away: 0800 0282 420.
Disclaimer: Our work from home policy template provides a basic guideline and should only be used as a reference point for your business. For your policy, you may need to consider additional local laws. Peninsula UK will not assume any legal liability should it arise after this template has been used.