Working from home and Hybrid working has been a normality for some businesses for many years. However, many other businesses began working from home on a much larger scale during the pandemic. As we start to recover from the pandemic some employers have decided to ditch the office altogether whilst others have decided to opt for a Hybrid solution.
I didn’t have a Working From Home Policy last year, why would I get one now?
Most businesses were not prepared for Boris’ ‘work from home if you can’ announcement in March 2020, but British businesses are adaptable and resilient and we rose to the challenge in a hurry. That meant scrambling for laptops and PC’s, moving documents onto a cloud and a mass rerouting of telephone lines. For many, the legal and security implications were not a consideration but we are still required to follow GDPR ( General Data Protection Regulations), Employment Law and Health and Safety Laws.
You must still ensure that staff data and client data is secure. This can mean you need to consider a number of things such as:
How do staff dispose of documents containing data, will you supply a shredder, a confidential waste bin or require old documents to be returned to the office for safe disposal?
Are staff able to store documents safely in a locked cupboard?
Will they be sharing their computer with other members of their household?
Are they wearing headphones when they are having conversations which include sensitive data?
Is the email and internet usage encrypted?
Health And Safety
Employers are still responsible for the safety of staff whilst they are working from home. This doesn’t mean you need to do a daily home visit but you may well ask staff to carry out a risk assessment. At the very least you will want to ensure that they have the right chair and desk set up.
Who Will You Allow To Work From Home?
Working from home is not suitable for everybody, some people do not have the space, the internet speed or the desire to work from home. If you are introducing working from home or hybrid working for a selection of staff then you should be able to explain why you have disallowed it for others. A working from home criteria is useful to help avoid discriminating against groups of people.
Expenses and Bills
Working from home can incur additional expenses for staff, your working from home policy should set out who is responsible for bills and expenses.
Avoiding An Us And Them Culture
If some staff are able to work from home whilst others are in the workplace you will need to make an effort to prevent an us and them culture.
You will still want everyone to feel a part of the team and although working from home has many benefits it can mean that staff miss out on general chit chat where friendships are built or they miss out on the social activities which workplaces inspire. It can also lead to resentment from work based staff who would like to work from home. Keep having regular meetings either via video link or in person and team activities to keep the team together.
How do I get a Homeworking Policy
We are able to supply you with and Homeworking and Hybrid working policy for your business. To enquire about our working from home policy contact us at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk