Companies should keep legal considerations in mind, though, to ensure that they are protected from court rulings and lawsuits. These include:
- To ensure that flex-work options are available on a non-discriminatory basis, write clear and detailed policies that outline which jobs are available for such arrangements and which are not]. Consider establishing a committee to draft these policies, and seek input from every department
- Managers should discuss the intricacies of the flex-work option with employees, including expected working hours, how performance will be evaluated, and details of the transition. All parties should then sign documents with those elements expressed in writing.
- Consider a short-term trial period with regular check-ins before initiating any large-scale initiatives
- Be aware of the laws requiring employers to accommodate based on family status, such as the parent of a child with medical needs.
- Host frequent town hall meetings and workshops to discuss concerns arising from flex-work, and welcome any opposing viewpoints from non-participants. Open dialogue will help reduce friction and clarify misconceptions that may exist.
- Implement extra security measures for employees who obtain and transmit confidential data remotely, such as the creation of a controlled virtual network. Also, encourage employees to remain up-to-date on virus protection and computer security updates.
With these preemptive strategies, companies can remain safe from liability while still reaping the benefits of a mobile workforce.
Offering flexible work policies to employees has countless benefits, including a 67 percent increase in loyalty and billions of dollars saved from resulting reductions in turnover.