You Need a Bespoke bowers.law Working From Home Plan!
In this Room 228 Newsletter we ask whether your organization has sufficient policies and procedures in place to enable its staff to safely and productively work from home or remotely (WFH). Readers in Hong Kong should appreciate the significance of the picture as WFH is not necessarily an excuse for staff to go hiking in the middle of the working day together with their WFH colleagues, and then to post their fun daytime jaunts online for their other hard(er)-working colleagues, bosses and clients to see !
Working From Home
Does your organization have sufficient policies and procedures in place to enable its staff to work from home or remotely (WFH) in a safe, secure, productive working environment at the same time as protecting its own confidential information, data and trade secrets, and maintaining its own internal systems and productivity?
If your organisation isn’t yet sufficiently geared-up for WFH (and for obvious COVID reasons, it needs to be!), it should ASAP be creating and implementing bespoke WFH policies and procedures.
Here’s a list of general WFH issues which should be addressed in any WFH Plan:
- common understanding amongst staff
- compulsory or voluntary
- attendance at the office, when required
- right for employer to visit employees’ homes
- usual office working hours (e.g. lunch-hour, breaks etc.)
- contact details
- location (home or somewhere else)
- notification of change of location
- variation / amendment of terms of employment
- alteration of nature of job duties / descriptions
- benefits (e.g. annual / sick leave entitlement, housing / travel allowances etc.)
- use / cost of mobile devices / laptops / PCs etc.
- use of computer equipment by third parties (e,g. family members, friends etc.)
- IT security
- compliance with IT / accounting / HR systems
- compliance with staff handbook etc.
- social media / email protocols
- redefinition of key performance indicators (KPIs)
- career progression / advancement
- team connectivity / communication
- training (e.g. mandatory professional education requirements)
- travel / accommodation / utility or other expenses
- healthy and safety
- mental health
- confidentiality / data protection
- intellectual property
- regulatory requirements (e.g. finance, legal, accounting etc.)
- insurance (e.g. employees’ compensation / occupiers liability / professional indemnity / office / D&O)
- immigration / work visa / tax issues (if working remotely overseas)
- extreme weather events (e.g. Typhoon 8 signal in Hong Kong)
- termination of WFH arrangements
Bespoke bowers.law WFH Plan
Yes, it’s a very long list of crucial issues which should be built into your WFH Plan, and all the more reason for you to create and implement your own bespoke WFH Plan which addresses all of your organisation’s specific needs and requirements – not just to maximise the security and business goals of the organisation, but to ensure the health, safety and productivity of all of your WFH staff who are each being entrusted with continuing to effectively and innovatively advance, develop and progress your business during the very difficult personal and economic conditions of the “new normal”…which does not look like ending any time soon !
The creation and effective implementation of a bespoke WFH Plan should also stop staff email auto-replies or social media posts from saying “Gone Hiking” !
Please contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this Room 228 Newsletter.
This Newsletter is not intended to be and should not be relied on as legal advice. You should seek professional legal advice before taking any action in relation to the subject-matter of this Newsletter.