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Should Employers Require a Checklist for Remote Workers?

Before a person takes a job that will require them to work remotely, they should be sure that the employer has established a checklist that will go over the employee’s responsibilities and the employer’s obligations. With no traditional structure surrounding an employee, it can be easy to drift beyond the scope of their responsibilities. It is important for employers to establish a checklist at the outset so both the employee and employer have a firm understanding of each other’s responsibilities. The onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced numerous businesses to work remotely. If firms continue using remote workers, they should establish a checklist when hiring new employees.

What Items Should be Included on a Checklist?

A checklist establishes the parameters of a remote employee’s responsibilities. For the employee, it is good to know what is expected of them and what they can expect from their employer. Specifically, the checklist should include information about:

  • The state the employee resides
  • Telecommuting plans
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Workspace parameters

By laying out the specifics in all four categories, employers and employees can establish a positive working relationship that should function just as well as if they were both working in the same office.

Why Does It Matter Where I am Working?

Employment law differs by state and impacts certain ways that employers interact with employees and what benefits they can and should provide. Employers should determine the state their employee is working out of and become familiar with the specific employment laws and regulations that apply. These are essential even during the hiring process as different states allow certain questions to be asked on applications while others do not. Having a checklist that lays out a state’s specific regulations will enable the hiring process to run smoothly.

What Should a Checklist Include About the Telecommute?

From the beginning of a relationship between an employer and a remote employee, the structure of that relationship should be established. For instance, an employee should know right away if the remote aspect of the job is temporary or permanent. They should also know if the position is 100 percent remote or if there will be some time in the office. The employee should also be made aware of any potential timeline of the job moving back to the office.

An employer should establish work hours for an employee and how that employee will check in during the day. It is important for an employee to understand when the workday begins and ends to prevent them from working too much or not enough. They should also know if they are eligible for overtime and how that can be accurately tracked to ensure that they are not taking advantage of the situation or are being taken advantage of.

What Will My Employer be Responsible For?

When establishing a remote working relationship, a checklist should include what an employer will be responsible for when it comes to paying for expenses. An employee should understand what expenses an employer will pay for and which ones will be the responsibility of the employee.

The equipment an employee uses should also be a part of a checklist for an employer as to what they will provide. Whether an employer elects to provide that equipment is up to them, so long as they explain that at the start of the relationship. Along with equipment comes minor expenses, such as mailing, faxing, and purchasing small office supplies, such as paper and folders.

How Should Remote Employees Establish Workspaces?

Security measures need to be established if a remote employee is working on sensitive material. Most are working from home where there are other people around. Both sides need to establish what an employee must do to secure whatever electronic device they are working on to prevent others from gaining access to it. If a company does not provide a phone for the employee, they may need to use their personal device for professional reasons. An employer should establish how much business they are comfortable with their employee conducting on their personal appliances.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Protect Employees’ Rights

If you are experiencing employment issues while working remotely, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. can help you. Our hard-working lawyers know the law and can help you achieve the resolution that is best for you. Fill out an online form or call us at 215-574-0600 today for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.