Working remotely, whether from home or another location, has been a big change to working life. People can work anywhere they have an internet connection and with cloud computing, there is little they can’t do remotely. The benefits for the employee are clear but what about for the business?
Why remote working is popular
One of the top reasons that remote working is popular is that it allows flexibility. For example, staff may have children or other commitments that limit their ability to go out to work. But when they can work from home and fit their working hours around these commitments, it opens up many more options.
The improvement to work life balance can’t be denied. This is beneficial for both employees and employers because people that are happier are more productive. They are more engaged in their roles, feel that the company cares for them and therefore do their best work.
How to start with flexible working
At the moment, employers are required to consider requests ‘objectively’ and in a reasonable manner. There are some reasons why an employer can refuse flexible working which include:
- The extra costs involved
- Inability to meet customer demand
- Inability to reorganise the work
- Unable to recruit new staff
However, most employers are now considering it as much as possible because of the benefits involved. There are a few different routes to take to start a flexible working scheme which includes flexi-time, job-sharing, working from home, staggered hours, annualised hours and shift working.
The company needs to establish trust with the employees and systems in place for them to register their hours. For example, how will employees register their working hours to ensure they are paid correctly? Are there any restrictions on where they can work or when?
The business may also need to look at health and safety of where the employee will work. This covers things like a risk assessment of the home’s temperature, lighting, space, ventilation and the equipment that they will use. Some employers even supply equipment such as desks and chairs to ensure they are to a certain standard.
Another key part of allowing flexible working is to have the right collaborative tools both to log the work done by employees and allow them access to the software they need to do their job. Staff need to spend long periods of time on their own and work without supervision but there also needs to be ways to get in touch when needed if there are questions or queries.
Security is something to consider when granting access to employees from their homes or other locations. For example, if you have sensitive data, you may say they can only work from their homes as the network must have a certain level of security in place – public locations like cafes don’t have this type of security.
It should also be laid out how performance will be measured. A weekly meeting, a bi-weekly get-together of all flexible working staff or a monthly performance meeting may all be used to check in and make sure things are working for both the company and for the employee.
For more advice on working patterns for your employees, speak to the managed payroll experts at Trace Payroll, and find out how do payroll service works. We have over 40 years experience in the industry and offer a tailored and personal service for our clients. Speak to us directly by calling us on 0845 873 5619 or you can use our contact form.