The number of jobs now advertised as being remote-working roles has more than quadrupled in the past year. It is clear that both employers and employees are seeing the benefits of more flexible arrangements and they are likely to remain in place long after Covid-19 passes.
But the move to widespread remote-working presents challenges for companies from the smallest start-ups setting off on their business journey, to larger conglomerates moving to new ways of working.
At Harper James Solicitors, we specialise in supporting ambitious businesses of all sizes to grow. Our team of employment experts regularly advises companies how to safely integrate remote-working into their business structures.
Our employment expert Ella Bond, said: 'The growth in roles being advertised as remote-working brings into sharp focus the transformation we’ve seen within the employment sector over the past year.
'Working from home can be advantageous for both staff and businesses. For staff, it is likely to enable a better work/life balance and gain back valuable time which would otherwise be spent on the daily commute.
'While for business, having home-working arrangements in place could better enable them to keep operating during adverse weather conditions or a crisis such as the current pandemic. It could also help to improve staff retention rates for businesses due to staff having increased job satisfaction.
'Having less staff on site could result in a reduction to overheads which may come in the form of lower rent charges for smaller premises and lower services bills.'
Ella says one of the considerations that businesses should look at in this area is the equipment remote-working employers may require: 'If company equipment is to be provided then businesses should make sure provisions are in place which stipulate the company’s ownership and set in place any conditions required for its return.
'Measures may need to be put in place for annual inspections or for the return of equipment on termination of a staff member’s contract, or at any time at the request of the employer.
'If staff equipment is to be used, then businesses should make sure provisions are in place requiring the deletion of company documents, information and data from that equipment (together with any copies) on termination of the staff members’ contract.
'Businesses should also consider who will pay the relevant utility bills of their homeworkers (eg telephone and electricity) and ensure the arrangements for this are made clear.'
Are you looking for help with compliant remote-working policies and practices? Our employment team make it their business to advise you of the latest Covid-19 guidance and how that affects employment law. For a no-obligation consultation, get in touch with us.