The Anatomy of a Telecommuting (Remote Work) Policy

Thanks to the wonders of technology, telecommuting/remote work is a common and accepted practice. Having an established telecommuting policy allows you to hire talent anywhere, and keep things moving in times of emergency when everyone is forced to work from home.

This post will give you a high level overview of the anatomy of a telecommuting policy. There are plenty of templates available online, but make sure you review them carefully and assure that it applies to your specific situation.

Some sections assume that you have an established company device policy in effect for all company workstations.

  1. Eligibility – What criteria does the employee have to meet in order to be eligible for telecommuting.
  2. Policies to Remain in Effect – Let your employees know that the employe handbook, and relevant policies such as Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, IT Resources, Communications Systems, Workplace Safety, etc. remain in effect while telecommuting.
  3. Telecommuting Agreement – Most employers have a telecommuting agreement, a legal contract, that must be signed that clearly lays out the permission to telecommute, the agreed-upon hours of work, expectations of communication, responsibilities including safeguarding equipment, and work place setup. You can build this into the policy.
  4. Equipment and Technology Support – Outline what kind of equipment (laptops, workstations, mouse, keyboard, software, etc.) will be provided to your telecommuting employee. This section should also mention how equipment is to be replaced if defective, returned when telecommuting is over, or who to call for technical support.
  5. Bring Your Own Device Policy – If you are allowing your employees to use their own computers for remote work, use this section to outline what is expected of them in terms of security, VPN connections, software, etc.
  6. Security – Outline that your employee is responsible for the security of your property, and they must maintain confidential passwords, use file cabinets if necessary, maintain regular anti-virus protection, and not download company confidential information or trade secrets onto non-secure devices.
  7. Device Policy – Outline how you are approaching device security, how you are tracking your employees devices, the privacy they can expect while using company workstations, what VPM they will be connecting to, your password standards, your software standards, and any other information about the devices your employees will be using while telecommuting.
  8. Expenses – Outline what expenses you will be reimbursing, including phone, internet access, electric, etc.
  9. Policy Administration – Establish what department of your company is responsible for the administration of this policy.
  10. Reference to Internal Agreements – If you have a collective bargaining agreement, part of a union, or any other agreement in place with your employees – make references to these and how the terms of those agreements are effected by the telecommuting policy.
  11. Acknowledgment of Receipt and Review – In no uncertain terms, make sure your employees have a chance to fully review, sign and date that they understand this policy, what it means, and what is expected of them.

Let us Help.

This is a high level overview of what should be in a telecommuting policy. There are many other nuances, and these policies should be drafted with the help of an experienced attorney.

Kader Law can help you understand what you need to do, guide you through internal and external company policies with our Outside General Counsel offering. If you’re interested in connecting, feel free to contact us.

This post is not legal advice, and does not establish any attorney client privilege between Law Office of K.S. Kader, PLLC and you, the reader.