It's hard to believe it's been almost three years since COVID-19 made its way across the globe. Since then, a lot has changed about the way we work. One of the most notable changes is the rapid transition to remote working. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, companies cobbled work-from-home solutions together, waiting for things to get "back to normal." However, as the years progressed, it became clear that working remotely was no longer a short-term solution but a fundamental change in the way we work. 

Nearly three years later, the need for an internal remote work policy is clear. Stopgap solutions and flexible guidelines aren't enough anymore. A robust remote work policy helps companies capitalize on the benefits of remote working while ensuring everyone stays on the same page.

In this article, we're breaking down everything you need to know about creating a remote work policy for your company, including what it is, what it should include, and how to get started. 

What is a remote work policy? (And why is it important?)

The results are in. Remote working leads to increased productivity and lowers costs. And according to McKinsey & Company, workers overwhelmingly prefer working from home at least part of the time. However, to experience these benefits, companies must have their remote work processes streamlined. That's where a remote work policy comes in. 

A remote work policy is simply a set of guidelines that define the specifics of your company's work-from-home stances and typically include things like who gets to work remotely, how often they can work from home, communication expectations, data security, time-tracking and more. 

Having this stuff laid out is crucial to keeping everyone on the same page. It's not necessarily a set of rules as much as it is a foundation for remote working at your company. You want your remote team to be able to work autonomously, and your remote work policy should lay out expectations to make that possible. 

The 9 must-haves in a successful remote work policy

How do you create a successful remote work policy that clearly communicates expectations while empowering your team to boost productivity and strive for success? Including the following nine things is a great place to start. 

A well-defined purpose

Clarity is essential to an effective remote work policy. Employees must understand why the policy is necessary and what you want to accomplish with it. Otherwise, you'll just be adding unread words to an employee handbook. Let your team know that your goal isn't to add more rules but to keep things clear for everyone. 

Eligibility information

Your remote work policy needs to include information on who's covered by the policy. For example, is it just for full-time employees, or does it also apply to independent contractors and part-time employees? Does the remote work option only apply to employees who’ve been at the company for a certain period? Does the option only apply to workers living in the city where the office is located? Hammer out these details and include them in the policy. 

Clear goals & expectations

Be sure to outline some clear goals and expectations, too. Let your employees know exactly what's expected from them when they work from home and what you hope to accomplish with a remote work policy. For example, your main goal in swapping to remote work might be to improve productivity by 15%. Include that in the policy, and lay out how you expect your remote employees to accomplish that. 

In addition, you want to make sure to include other expectations like availability, activity metrics, productivity targets, communication expectations and more. Ultimately, workers should be able to read the remote work policy and know exactly what's expected of them as remote employees. 

Remote work tools & equipment

Remote working requires special tools and equipment, and your remote work policy should include what tools those are. Lay out in detail the equipment and tools you're going to provide, what they are and how you expect the employee to use them. 

For example, the equipment might include a managed desktop, a softphone or a VR headset. Your tools might consist of a productivity suite, a communication channel, attendance tracking software, employee monitoring software and more. 

Working hours

Often people assume remote work means flexible hours. While that's sometimes the case, it doesn't have to be. Many companies have their employees work regular hours from home. Your remote work policy should have a section dedicated to answering questions like: 

  • Do your remote employees work set hours?
  • If so, what hours are working hours?  
  • Will you have required online meetings? 
  • What hours should global talent be expected to work? 
  • And more

Remember that establishing working hours isn't just about making sure your employees are working when they should be. It's also about ensuring they're taking time off, too. Working from home can make the work-life lines pretty blurry, and it's your job to make sure your employees aren't overworking and burning themselves out. 

Communication tools

Communication and collaboration are often the biggest hurdles with remote working. Consequently, your remote work policy should detail how you expect your employees to stay in touch with their supervisors and each other. Don't just tell them which tools to use. Instead, take time to set specific guidelines around when to use each tool. 

For example, you might establish guidelines around when to use instant messaging, when to call, when to video chat or send off an email. Doing so will help keep the communication flowing and make collaboration much more straightforward.

Cybersecurity tools

Cybersecurity can be a tough issue for remote teams. From using insecure wi-fi channels and working in public spaces to navigating phishing attempts and sharing sensitive files, there's no shortage of security issues when working remotely. 

Your remote work policy should outline exactly how you expect your remote employees to handle intellectual property, secure data, company equipment and more. (Check out our managed devices to keep your global team safe from cybersecurity threats). 

Well-being considerations

Monitoring employee well-being is more difficult with remote workers, so you want to ensure you have some contingencies in place to ensure your employees' mental and physical health stays intact. For example, you might include guidelines to create an ergonomic working station or information about mandatory "email off" hours. You can even add things like required socialization into your remote work policy. 

Technical support

Remote working requires technology. While we love and need it, if there's one constant with technology, it's the ongoing need for technical support. Therefore, your remote policy should include information on how your remote workers should handle technical support issues. 

For example, what's expected of them if they have internet connectivity issues? Can they take the day off, or are they required to find an alternative service? What about if their camera or microphone stops working right before a mandatory meeting? At the very least, your remote policy should include information about how to handle the inevitable technical issues that will arise. 

Fuel your remote work policy with #WorkFromAnywhere solutions

In short, a remote work policy is necessary to set expectations and keep your entire team on the same page. However, a remote work policy is just the beginning. 

Remote working requires the right tools and support. At, we give companies the tools they need to empower their remote team – no matter where they're working from. We make it easy to hire and employ global talent with our range of #WorkFromAnywhere technology. 

If you want to fuel your remote work policy and take advantage of remote working with top global talent, contact us today.

Nov 16, 2022
Remote Work

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