Staffing is a concern for any small business. A growing demand from employees in any organization is for a work from home policy to be put in place. This allows greater flexibility to employees who may be juggling education with work or for a parent who, on certain days needs to tend to his or her child.
It also gives Small Businesses the opportunity to open up avenues for bringing in more help at a fairly lower cost. After all, if you can open your doors to a few work-from-home employees you save on the need to expand your floor space, save on office stationery and consumables as well.
All in all, it is a win-win scenario for a small establishment. So what kind of work from home policy would be an appropriate addition to your rules and policies?
The following guidelines will be helpful pointers:
• Create a work schedule: Make it mandatory for reports and completed work to be submitted within a stipulated time every day. This will ensure that a rerun of a interesting serial or a visit from a family member or friend doesn’t distract from the employee from the work in hand for the office. Create a structure to allow submission of reports on a daily or at least weekly basis. This will help you keep track of the actual work done.
• Create an incentive program: Encourage better time efficiency by instituting an incentive program for workers who submit the work before the stipulated time. It could be something as simple as the rest of the day off once the reports are in.
• Create an inclusive work atmosphere: Organize workshops and training sessions, where attendance is mandatory, periodically. This helps create a bond between the employees who otherwise hardly get to interact. It also helps add to the sense of belonging to the organization.
• Supervision is Key: Dedicate supervisors that each employee has to report to at the end of each week. A good way to ensure that submitting work late does not become the norm is to create a need for supervisor approval for missing a deadline.
• Ensure you have uniform policies implemented: Have similar policies and procedures regarding taxation, salary and incentives as a regular employee. Once again, this helps the work from home individual feel part of a team despite not seeing the boss and other employees every day
• Ensure your organisation’s and Client’s intellectual property is secure: Have a confidentiality agreement in place. This is essential to a work from home set up to combat insufficient firewalls on a remote computer. Hence a strict and clear confidentiality policy will help you avoid leaks that can be detrimental to your business.
• Sign a Contract: Last but not the least, enter into a contract at the beginning to formalise the agreement so that both parties are aware of the expectations to be lived up to and exceeded. Have a contract of minimum one year under the department in place. This may act as a deterrent for people to misuse the opportunity as a temporary option till they get a full time job.
A work from home arrangement is centred on allowing flexibility to your employees while benefiting from the cost effectiveness. Enforcing these guidelines ensures that your business keeps expectations clear, maintains a professional relationship so that you benefit from the set up as much as your employee.