How to Write a Work From Home Policy
Companies like Square and Twitter are making work from home permanent. In order to succeed, they’ll need a solid work from home policy that sets expectations and promotes a healthy work culture. If your team is following in the footsteps of these and hundreds of other industry leaders, you’ll need to create or revise your own WFH policy to match your new structure.
In this article, we’ll go over what a remote work policy is, why it’s useful, and what we know about changing guidelines. We’ll also include some sample work from home policy examples to use for inspiration and provide actionable tips on how to make your own.
What is an employee work from home policy?
An employee work from home policy is a written set of rules and instructions for how employees should work remotely. These guidelines cover everything from which software tools you’ll use to collaborate to what hours employees are (or are not) expected to be online. Think of your work from home policy template as a Frequently Asked Questions document for your employees to successfully work remotely.
Why is it important to have work from home guidelines?
All things considered, there are lots of benefits of working from home for employers. It is important to have work from home guidelines because, without them, employees may waste time figuring out logistical issues. It will also help teams get on the same page, boosting productivity in the process.
Plus, work from home guidelines help employees understand what is expected of them so they can stay focused when on the clock. They will also feel more comfortable separating their personal and professional lives while working out of their bedroom or home office, leading to better mental health and a sense of fulfillment.
Why more companies have work from home policy guidelines
More and more companies have remote work policy guidelines as 42% of the U.S. labor force works full-time from home. And, although companies can ask employees to work from home without creating work from home policy guidelines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes that having one helps to “ensure that workers can still get their jobs done,” especially during an emergency.
Why work from home policies are changing
Work from home policies are changing now. If your company had one at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, you may wish to revise them now that many organizations have spent several months as a majorly or completely WFH company. Major events such as new positions that have been created or terminated and will also affect your guidelines. Essentially, if your remote work policy no longer covers everything your existing team needs to know, it’s time to revise it.
Work from home policy examples
These leading brands offer inventive and strategic work from home policy examples you can feel free to copy or get inspiration from. Although work from home policies are often complex and unique to your company makeup, these ideas should kickstart your own guidelines. Here’s what they are and why they work.
Google’s work from home policy outlines virtual training and classes they’ve made that will help employees with the transition. Employees can refer back to this document whenever they feel stuck, which will save them time emailing their managers back and forth.
Looking to motivate employees, Facebook’s policy limits permanent work from home privileges after the crisis is over to employees with consistently great performance. The guidelines share practical details on what “great” means so employees know what benchmarks to hit.
Shopify’s work from home policy outlines the best communication tools, why they’re requiring employees to use them, and how their choice in work from home software will positively impact remote teams.
How to write a work from home policy
Here’s how to create, share, and make the most of your work from home policy no matter what industry you’re in.
Establish formal work schedules
Include what hours employees are required to be available via phone, email, and messenger. Also, clearly state what time employees must begin work and end work each day. Alternatively, if your company is encouraging staff to adopt more flexible schedules, be sure to outline procedures around reporting their work hours and completed tasks.
Set up remote work review processes
Outline how you’ll rate the quality of remote employee work and what review processes will be implemented to make sure everyone is still doing their best. Ask department heads to give you feedback on your work from home policy draft since you may miss important nuances of certain positions that need to be covered.
Create tech support guide
Help your employees do their best by giving them data protection guidelines and links to any device security tools they may need. Share detailed instructions for what to do if they have issues with their WiFi, computer, or software tools.
Clarify remote work rules
Make a concrete list of what expenses your company will or will not cover for remote employees.
Is your team confused about sick days and vacations? Let them know how they can use these days while working from home. And encourage them to do so! If you’re giving out work from home stipends like Uber is, outline how employees are expected to use the money.
Do regular policy reviews
Review your work from home policy quarterly or when major events occur in or outside of your organization to make sure it’s still relevant. Make your policy public like Mark Zuckerberg did.
How Wrike supports organizations that work from home
If your team is making the permanent or “permanent for now” switch to remote work, you’ll need to choose a project management solution that supports your policy on work from home and sets employees up for success long-term.
Tools like custom field request forms and digital workspaces make it easy to communicate with team members across time zones. Templates save time by standardizing daily tasks or recurring systems that are proven to work for your team.
Dashboards also help visually plan out tasks, dependencies, and statuses so everyone knows how much progress has been made.
This is just a sample of what work from home employees can do with Wrike. But as you can see, a strong tool like this one can transform your work from home policy from a simple document into a living system your entire team uses to succeed.