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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Guidelines for home working

Guidelines for Occasional Working from Home

It may be appropriate for some employees from time to time to carry out
some of their duties at home. Such arrangements may be made on the basis
of an informal agreement with their Line/Team Manager. There are
obviously potential benefits for both the employer and the employee in
such arrangements but it is important to be aware of the implications
and of the responsibility of the parties.

It should be noted that this guidelines covers occasional work from home
only and if an employee or prospective employee requests to be
designated a home-worker further advice should be sought from the
HR\department. For the purposes of this guide, occasionally will be
defined to represent no more than 20% of working time calculated on a
monthly basis.

1. Guidelines for Employees
From time to time it may be more appropriate for you to work from home
for example to complete a piece of work with the minimum of disruption.
Please note that working from home is a privilege, not prerogative and
should allowed only when it serves the need of individual as well as

If you wish to be considered for occasional working from home you should
approach your line manager.

1.1 Essential tools for Remote/Home working

There are certain recommended tools available to facilitate effective
and efficient home working:

Category    Tools
Remote connectivity    VPN(Virtual Private Network), Internet
Instant Messaging (IM)    Skype, MS Communicator
Document Sharing    SharePoint , Team site
Remote Meeting    MS Live Meeting, SMART Board
Agile planning tool    Mingle, Mountaingoat's online poker tool

1.2 Availability and communication
Consideration must be given to the work of the individual's team and the
requirements for communication. Employees must be available and
contactable during agreed working hours.
*    Ensure VPN (Virtual Private network) has been installed on the
laptop/machine and VPN token has been issue. Please check VPN
connectivity beforehand.
*    Ensure all required and approved communication tools such as MS
Office communicator, MS Live meeting, Skype etc has been installed, user
registered and activated before hand.
*    Ensure availability of a reliable internet connection.
*    Ensure a Headphone and microphone is available to use with
communicator /live meeting
*    Ensure your IM (Instant Messaging) id is available to the team
members and you have added your team members in your contact list.
*    Update the outlook calendar and 'Out of office' response to
reflect that you are working from home.
*    Ensure your contact phone number is available to the team
*    Always update your status if you are likely to unavailable for a
certain period of time.

In order to work from home securely and safely, you need to consider the

1.3 Security
Employees must take care to ensure the security of work in their home,
this will include;

*    Security and confidentiality of company equipment and
*    No access of friends and family to work related information.
*    Protection of home computers and their links, employees must
ensure that work moved by disk does not transfer viruses to company's
*    Do not leave any work related sensitive material on your home
desk or personal computer

1.4 Display Screen Equipment
If you do work at home using a computer the Display Screen Equipment
Regulations apply and you should undertake an assessment of your
workstation to make sure it does not present any health and safety

1.5 Electrical and Other Work Equipment
Employees are responsible for the safety of the wiring/electricity
circuit in their homes. It is important to ensure that any electrical
equipment, for example laptop computers provided for work at home is
safe and regularly maintained

2.0  Guidelines for Line/team managers:

Consideration needs to be given to the role of the person who home
works. For example a Development Lead who works from home/off shore 2
days a week and this can present difficulties in having to take the role
of Proxy Development Lead on quite a few occasions.

Working from home can be considered where there is no requirement for
close supervision or regular interactions in order for work to be
completed and where working away from the workplace would not affect the
quality of the work. Consideration must also be given to the work of the
individual's team and requirement for communication.

The team/line manager should agree with the employee, clear guidelines
of what is expected. These should include:

*    Clear tasks and objectives
*    Procedure for assessing and monitoring performance and output
*    Communication arrangements including agreement of when and how
the employee can be contacted, it should also be defined who may be
given access to the employees home phone number
*    Any training & development needs identified as a result of the
*    Details of any company's equipment used at home
*    Frequent face to face meetings, especially during team
retrospectives or sprint planning session.

These guidelines are suggestive, rather than comprehensive.
These guideline can be customised to suit your organisation.


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