Teleworking has quickly become a part of our lives due to the Covid-19 epidemic, and although we initially thought it was a passing phenomenon, it is now clear that it will stay with us for a long time: various office workers half of them will do their work from home in the long run.
The rapid change required extraordinary efforts (and of course expenses) on the part of companies and workers, as the home office had to be set up in an incredibly short time. material and intellectual conditions. They purchased new tools and software, expanded their network capacity, accelerated the transition to the cloud, and, thanks to huge intellectual and material sacrifices, adapted relatively quickly, and even the switch often led to improved productivity.
However, this was largely due to the self-exploitation of workers,
and now that it has become clear, we have to reckon with the home office as a lasting paradigm, it is time to companies and their employees formalize the rules and policies that provide the legal framework for telecommuting. At the same time, the time has come for workers to become their own lawyers and not to take on burdens that will inevitably shatter them in the long run.
Adecco, Boston Consulting Group, Gallup, IBM, according to surveys by PwC, Engagerocket, IDC and other large companies and analysts, teleworking is an attractive alternative for most workers that they would be happy to keep, at least part-time, in the future. It is therefore important for businesses to have clear rules about who needs to work from home, who is allowed to do this, and finally who needs to go to the office, how often they need to do this, how much time they need to
All these rules, of course, depend on the job and position of the employees, but it is useful if they have some flexibility to handle individual cases if, for example, someone has to work in a home office, but cannot, at his own fault, create the conditions for working.
The regulations must also cover additional rights and obligations: they must specify the joint office time of the teams, the schedule of technical assistance available to the workers, and the protection of employees’ data (assuring him, for example, that the driver does not carry out covert surveillance or unknowingly recording it.)
In addition, it should be clarified that how managers measure work performance and, as they are unable to walk around the office to check subordinates in teleworking conditions, they must also be informed in writing whether they need to check in from time to time or indicate in some other way that they sit in front of their machine and work hard.
Who pays the bill?
If the company requires the employee to use certain devices (computer, mobile phone, peripherals, etc.) to carry out his work, he must also provide them with them: either directly or by supporting their acquisition. The same goes for software and services (such as the Internet and mobile use): if they are essential for work, they should be provided by the employer, at least in the happier part of the world.
If the company supplies its employees with a laptop, it has taken the largest purchase item with it, as they can use it at home, and if they have to spend a few days a week in the office, they can take it with them.
But if the business is based on an office PC, they must either be delivered to the workers ’homes or replaced with laptops. And if employees have to be in the office in addition to the home office, the company must also provide a device to support the internal work (which can be another PC or a laptop delegated to the employee).
Costs in the skies
Cloud-based software greatly facilitates distributed work and secure storage of corporate data, and provides a flexible work environment for operating systems and platform use that requires less control over home office computers. . At the same time, the use of modern solutions of course requires adequate bandwidth, which again only has to be provided by the employer. The same is true for peripherals, which we often forget, although without a proper monitor, keyboard, mouse, cabling, headset, home work cannot be efficient.
The company must provide the router even if the security requirements require a more expensive and stronger solution than average. Businesses are also burdened with extras, such as special lighting to ensure adequate visibility, if the employee has to hold regular video conferences
And if he has to use his mobile phone to work or be available by phone at all times , the associated additional costs are also borne by the employer. It is advantageous not to mix private and official conversations: this can be done either by a separate phone or by a web-based service (Skype, Google Voice, etc.)
It is a question of who pays for broadband internet, which the teleworker uses it at home and which he obviously uses for private purposes as well. Video conferencing and workgroup services, cloud-based applications require significant bandwidth, but the same is true for video streaming or multi-user games, and the employer has the right to argue against paying for them as well. The clearest solution is to roughly set a bandwidth limit that the company pays for, and what’s more, is at the expense of the employee – but of course it’s okay if the employer shows some generosity in this respect forced to the home office,
A small company haberdashery can also be expected in connection with the private use of work equipment (laptop, auxiliary monitor, etc.), partly because it is difficult to control, so it is not worth going into unnecessary battles because of them.
Flexibility, but not without a collar
Whoever works from home has to reconcile his / her work with his / her private life in some way, so it would be an absurd expectation to require that he / she only take care of his / her personal needs before 8:30 in the morning, at lunchtime and after 5 p.m. Bosses need to make sure the worker stops working in the afternoon when the kids come out of school and only picks up the lute again in the evening, after laying – like it or not, the home office explodes the classic 9 to 5-
One of the great advantages of a home office is that it eliminates the need for daily commuting between home and work. For most employees, this also means 1-1.5 hours of savings, so in principle, this is how much the employee’s free time is extended, which he can spend on his family or his own recreation. (Another issue is that, according to a Gartner survey, companies tend to use half of this time as working time.)
Although a teleworker has to divide his day between formal activities and personal needs, the work you definitely have to do it, and team members also need to know when to count on their colleagues. The solution is to develop a schedule that gives employees flexibility but eliminates ad hoc work. The hours when the worker is available in all circumstances, as well as those when it is not possible to be disturbed, shall be designated and this continuously updated timetable shall be made available to all members of the working group.
Safe working environment
In the office, worker protection is typically a hidden service provided by the employer and the building manager, covering both a safe work environment and the protection of the worker’s privacy. In the home office, the company obviously cannot buy office furniture for all its employees, but can, for example, contribute to creating the right work environment. A good office chair, a practical desk is not a cheap pastime – the employer is expected to get in.
Employees generally have little knowledge of ergonomics, it is useful and it pays for the employer to pay for it. They also receive help, support and guidance from the company in this respect
An important security issue is the protection of employees’ privacy and privacy. By default, it is forbidden to record the employee continuously for example, by keeping the virtual room camera on all day. In the home office, it is inevitable for the employee to switch back and forth between privacy and work, and the company has no right to peek into the former. Any kind of snooping should be handled with great care – it is better for everyone to have the result of the work, rather than surveillance tools, prove that the worker is not at home, far from the boss’s watchful gaze.
address, telephone number, which it is advisable to manage separately so as not to be confused with the numbers of customers and other employees – of course the goodwill of the employer is not enough, the employee also needs serious attention to separate the two spheres.
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