How do I implement a homeworking policy?

May 30th, 2020

Following the Coronavirus pandemic and as organisations look to protect their staff long term and offer a flexible work environment, many businesses are looking to make home working a permanent part of their business.

An effective home working policy will protect employers and set out what is expected of staff.

What is considered as home working?

Homeworking is a term covering a variety of agreements. Homeworking can refer to employees that work almost entirely at home apart from carrying out regular or occasional duties/meetings at the office or with customers; employees who split their time between working at home a few days a week; and employees that only work from home only occasionally.

Homeworking is a type of flexible working where the employer allows the employee to work from home during specific hours, or in certain circumstances.

Why allow employees to work from home?

Homeworking works best where the needs of the employer and the employee balance out.

Businesses can benefit from their staff working from home

  • Reduced overheads: Lower rent, business rates and utility bills when office space is decreased after staff move out to work from home.
  • Increased productivity: Output from employees working from home can improve because of fewer interruptions than in the office.
  • Wider choice when hiring: You will be able to recruit from a larger pool of talent because where potential employees currently live may be less of a factor in whether they apply
  • Environmental benefits: Cutting down on the number of employees that commute can have significant impact on the environment.

How do I manage homeworking?

Homeworking should be managed through a comprehensive agreement so both employer and employee are clear about what is acceptable and expected.

A homeworking policy should outline the criteria for assessing whether or not a homeworking arrangement will be practical, effective and meet business needs. It should also include how homeworkers will be managed.

Larger organisations are more likely to need a more extensive homeworking policy than small businesses. Small firms may agree individual homeworking arrangements in writing, but it is best practice to have a policy that covers the key points to ensure consistency in the business.

If you’re rolling out a new policy, the details should be determined through talks with employer and employees/employee representatives (where they exist), as you would with any other amendments to policies.

Protect your business

Introducing new or amending current policies can result in push-back from employees. The process needs to be managed and implemented cautiously and effectively and the policy should be as clear as possible.

Employline from Verisona Law offers protection for businesses when amending policies, including homeworking. The Employline HR solution gives your business access to an online portal where you can view and download standard policies. As part of the package, you’ll also get unlimited access to an employment law solicitor, all for an affordable fixed fee. Ensuring your business has the best possible advice and guidance.

To find out more about Employline or homeworking policies, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our employment law team on 02392 98 1000 or email connect@verisonalaw.com.