Introducing homeworking - checklist

Woman with brown hair and glasses with laptop working from home

More and more employees are working flexibly or from home - many for the first time due to the Coronavirus outbreak. This checklist explains how to successfully and legally implement homeworking.

  • Plan a pilot scheme. Consider offering selected employees the option of homeworking, or introduce part-time homeworking.
  • Identify jobs which are suitable for full or partial homeworking: consider how much the employee needs to be in the company's premises.
  • Confirm that the work can be carried out without creating a nuisance for neighbours or requiring planning permission.
  • Consider whether individuals have the right attitude and skills - for example, time-management, self-motivation and communication skills.
  • Organise any training required. Plan how you will involve the homeworker in future training and development activities.
  • Identify the requirements for a home office such as a reasonable working environment, a laptop or tablet computer, a smartphone - for occasions when the employee is out and about - and office furniture.
  • Plan the employee's communications: how will email and the internet be used? Who will arrange and pay for a broadband connection? How will phone calls and emails be re-routed? Will you use instant messaging services and collaboration tools to facilitate communication and team working between you and the employee?
  • Arrange access to the software, files and data that the employee needs to work effectively. Will the employee have access to your server via a virtual private network? Or, will the employee use cloud-based software and services?
  • Consider any security issues - for example, protecting valuable equipment, data and confidential information.
  • Arrange any additional insurance required. Check whether your existing business policy covers 'any place of business'.
  • Carry out a risk assessment. Identify the potential risks and who could be affected, take steps to minimise or remove the risks and record your findings.
  • Provide guidance on health and safety - for example, seating and furniture layout, lighting and testing of electrical equipment.
  • Advise homeworkers to ensure that the home office retains some residential use (eg as a spare bedroom) to avoid business rates and tax problems.
  • Agree any modifications to employment contracts - for example, covering working hours, responsibilities for equipment, and additional expenses.
  • Agree clear performance targets and standards which you can use as the basis for managing the homeworker.
  • Keep in touch on a daily basis, and arrange regular face-to-face meetings.

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