How to Perfect Your Work-at-Home Policies
Now that you’ve decided it’s okay to enact a work-at-home policy, maybe you aren’t quite sure what should be included in it. That makes sense; the entire frontier of work-at-home was just pioneered, and it can be difficult to know exactly what you want or even what you need out of someone when they aren’t in the office. While you probably won’t know exactly what you want until you start letting people work from their couches, here are a couple of things to consider to get you started on the right foot.
Make Team Time Mandatory
Even when someone working from home works alone, they also work as a team – even if that team is just you and them. Because they are part of a team, it’s important to make some team time mandatory. That team time doesn’t have to happen on the day they’re working from home. It can happen on any day as long as everyone is clear on their goals on the day when the team member isn’t in the office. Team time isn’t just for goals, though – it’s important for collaboration and brainstorming too, which means it’s even more important that you make designated team time a priority for your work-at-home employees.
What Do You Need to Happen?
No matter where an employee is working, they should be able to meet deadlines just the same. This means that the quality, content, and schedule that an employee has to follow in the office is the one they need to follow when they’re not there, too. Having clear guidelines is essential for those who work from home, even if they only do it for the day. That way, they know exactly what should have been done while they were gone because you were clear and concise about it. If you’re vague, then the work done when they’re away might be vague, too.
Be Flexible, But Decide Which Days Are Work-From-Home Days
Sometimes something might come up and an employee will request a certain day to work at home. That’s fine; if the employee has a good history of working from home, there shouldn’t be an issue with approving that day, especially if they have a good reason (kids events come to mind). Being flexible means that you’re showing your employees that they can, in fact, be trusted. This builds good feelings all around, and can make for a happier and more productive workforce.
However, in general, work-at-home days should be decided by you. This might mean that you say Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days you’re okay with people being out of the office, or it might change week to week; that choice is up to you. Generally speaking, you don’t want to choose Fridays.
In the end, a little flexibility, some team time and some very clearly defined goals can really go a long way in making work-at-home policies work for you and your team.