When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, no one could have predicted the ongoing transformation it would have on our home and work lives. This transformation is particularly obvious in how we talk about remote work and how many companies have adapted to, and in some cases embraced, remote work.
Once a perk offered by a few tech-savvy companies, remote work became a necessity for many employers beginning in March 2020. While it had its hiccups to start overtime, more and more executives and managers became accustomed to remote work and remote management. As a result, a PwC survey taken in late 2021, reflected that 83% of employers felt that remote work had been successful for their companies.
As the pandemic moves to an endemic stage, more and more employers are looking to implement permanent options for remote work. For many, this has taken on added importance as many employees are now looking to work for companies that offer remote work, at least on a part-time basis.
Remote Work Considerations for Employers
Employers implementing remote work must be careful not to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. Some job duties and positions simply may not be a good fit for remote work and some employees may perform better in an in-person environment. Moreover, even for individuals who are primarily able to work from home, there are studies that show that in-person work and meetings help build a sense of collaboration, assist with employee training, and help build bonds within the company that creates loyalty.
Those same studies suggest that employers who want to be successful with remote work evaluate their positions and determine how much of an employee’s time is spent on “collaborative” functions and how much is spent on independent, “working” functions. Employers can then schedule employees for in-person and remote work based on how much of their time is spent performing “collaborative” tasks that are better performed in person, and “working” tasks that can be successfully performed remotely. Based on these studies, most experts recommend “hybrid” work from home policies where employees split their time between working from home and the office.
Hybrid Work Considerations for Employers
Hybrid work from home arrangements are beneficial for employers because they allow for some of the traditional, in-person interactions that allow supervisors to evaluate and discipline employees effectively. Having at least some regular, in-person work hours ensures that employees are available and responsive to communications from co-workers and managers and may prevent improper moonlighting.
Finally, requiring in-person work ensures that employees stay local. Many employers have experienced situations where remote workers relocate to another state and then are shocked to learn that they are suddenly subject to another state’s laws, including its local employment and sales tax laws.
At Luchansky Law, we routinely assist employers with all facets of the implementation of policies and procedures governing remote work. If your business would like assistance in implementing a transition to a permanent remote work structure, give us a call at (410) 522-1020 to schedule a consultation.