Whether or not employers want it, remote work might be here to stay. A Prudential survey found that 68% of American workers think remote work will become more common after the pandemic, and about one in five are seriously considering finding a job that allows remote work.
It’s a big transition, and there are some serious issues to consider. The following resources and policy tips can help employers make the most out of the new normal.
If employees are using their own computers and networks for work, those computers and networks need to be secure. Remote work can also leave workers vulnerable to business email compromise schemes and other types of phishing and fraud.
Don’t just assume that employees are being cyber smart. Create cyber checklists and policies make sure they’re being followed.
- The FBI has tips on preventing business email compromise schemes.
- Ready.gov has cybersecurity resources to help before, during and after a cyberattack.
Employee Workplace Safety
Employees who get injured while working from home may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Because of this, employers must take steps to make sure that remote work offices are safe. These steps may include policies governing work hours and breaks, both to ensure that there’s a clear division of work hours and personal hours and to prevent injuries caused by overworking. Other policies may ensure that employees are working in a safe, ergometric environment.
- SHRM has information on telecommuting policy and procedures.
Remote work can make employee orientation especially difficult, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Don’t leave new employees to sink or swim on their own. Provide them with the resources they need to become a valuable member of your team.
- Indeed offers Virtual Onboarding 101.
Benefits are just as important for remote workers as they are for other workers. The best perks and wellness benefits may be different, though. For example, benefits to help create a home office will be more appreciated than transportation benefits, and wellness programs should be designed for remote workers. The open enrollment period may need to be adjusted, too.
- Glassdoor has 10 Easy Wellness Program Ideas for Remote Workers.
- Employee Benefit News has Five Open Enrollment Communication Tips.
- HR Daily Advisor has tips on How HR Can Address Pain Points in Virtual Benefits Enrollment This Fall.
For many employers, productivity is the key issue. There’s a concern that many workers won’t get as much done when they’re working from home, away from the oversight of their managers.
To make the arrangement work, employers need to have strong policies and procedures in place. This means setting clear expectations for work schedules and communication methods.
- SHRM has 10 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Workers.
- Harvard Business Review has A Guide to Managing Your Newly Remote Workers.
- US News has 10 Ways Remote Workers Can Improve Communication Skills.
If you have questions about how your commercial insurance policies apply to remote work claim scenarios, be sure to contact your Heffernan Insurance Brokers’ agent.