Remote work transition - What does that look like for HR?

Written by: Emma El Karout  created on: 09-05-2020


Remote and flexible work have been growing for years. Today it became the only way of working. When the virus spread subsides, remote work is going mainstream – maybe not – but sure many more businesses will adopt it and others will have readiness plans in place. One thing is for sure, many more people will want to know how a successful transition to remote work looks like.

The HR function is for sure impacted heavily, and at all levels, with the current situation and will be taking on additional responsibilities in the world of the remote workforce.

What are some the areas that need review

A successful transition to remote work requires clarity on some policies and procedure. You can find a lot of resources online on remote work and quite a few policy templates in circulation. A remote work policy document though should be tailored to your company’s needs and is considered the starting point for setting up your employment policies.

Below are some of the policies and guidelines you need to have in place or amend to get the remote work transition started on the right foot:

Attendance policy – this starts with the business deciding what works for them and whether to implement a strict attendance policy (i.e work on a fixed schedule when working from home) or a flexible attendance policy. You need to clearly outline your expectations about employees showing up to work online and communicate this effectively.

Confidentiality – You will need to stipulate clearly how remote employees receive and handle personal and private information about the business and clients in a virtual setup. You want to make sure that this information is well-protected at all times. Remote employees could be working from anywhere, further clarity on safety of their network connection is essential.

For example, it needs to be made clear that remote workers who are planning on having confidential conversations with customers and colleagues can’t do so from a place where they can be overheard. And if you are working on something sensitive, screen visibility needs to be considered.

Employee Code of Conduct – Clearly outlining the business expectations regarding employees’ behaviour towards their colleagues, supervisors and overall organisation whilst working virtually is important. Communication guidelines for remote teams and leaders to shed clarity on when managers and leaders are allowed to communicate with employees, through which channels, etc should be in place.

Dress code when meeting online – Expectations on the dress code during virtual meetings should be communicated whether you adopt a relaxed approach, less formal or a formal dress code. Virtual dress code extends to the employee environment and background during virtual meetings.

One thing to keep in mind, remote work is a business process, not just Policy.

Remote work changes the way your company operates. You do need a remote work policy as much as you need a remote work transition plan. The policy gives people direct guidelines and the remote work transition plan maps out the way of working, culture and growth, communication, governance and performance for results and output.

Let us help you – reach out and book time to discuss.