Remote work? Yes - if you control her

Service Business

The development of modern forms of communication - including the Internet in particular - has meant that a significant part of the work can now be done without leaving your home. This solution is used by more and more companies, allowing employees to so-called remote work (teleworking). However, every employer should remember to properly control their teleworkers - very often the boundaries between work and household duties are blurred, which is, of course, associated with a decrease in the efficiency of such an employee. How should remote work be organized to make it a beneficial solution for everyone?

What is remote work?

Remote work involves the performance of professional duties outside the company's premises, using electronic means of communication. It should be noted, however, that this solution, now more and more popular, is not a product of the present day - it was created in the 1970s in the USA. The reason was the fuel crisis - the lack of gasoline at the stations meant that many employees could not get to work, so they performed their tasks at home. They handed over the necessary documents to the company once every few days via courier.

This is how remote work was born, which today looks much different - thanks to the network, continuous communication between employees and superiors is possible, many documents are sent via e-mail, without the need to involve a courier, i.e. without additional costs. People employed in a given company have continuous access to important information, as it is often placed in the cloud. There are also special platforms that allow you to log in to perform more complex and specialized tasks.

Remote work - Labor Code

The rules of employment in the form of telework (remote work) are regulated by the Labor Code. These are relatively new regulations since they entered into force on October 16, 2007. According to Art. 675 of the aforementioned legal act, teleworking consists in the regular performance of work outside the workplace with the use of electronic means of communication. Therefore, an employee who performs his work in these conditions and communicates its results to the employer, using the above-mentioned conditions, can be considered a teleworker. electronic means of communication.

Pursuant to the Labor Code, teleworking must be performed using electronic means of communication within the meaning of the Act of 18 July 2002 on the provision of electronic services. According to its Art. 2 point 5, these are technical solutions, including ICT devices and software tools cooperating with them, enabling individual communication at a distance using data transmission between ICT systems, in particular e-mail. Importantly, the use of the above-mentioned measures by an employee is a prerequisite for recognizing employment as teleworking.

In summary, the most important features of remote work are:

  • regularity of work (regularity),
  • performing work outside the workplace,
  • performing work with the use of electronic means of communication.

Telework contract

The employer and the employee have two options to determine that the work will be performed remotely. This may take place during the conclusion of the employment contract or already during employment. If the first of the above-mentioned situations occurs, the prepared contract must contain appropriate regulations (e.g. identification of the employer's organizational unit in which the structure of the teleworker is located, or indication of the person / body responsible for cooperation with the teleworker and authorized to conduct inspections).

A change in the form of performing tasks to remote work may also take place during employment, by agreement of the parties, on the initiative of the employee or the employer. In such a case, the supervisor is obliged to provide the teleworker with the above-mentioned information in writing.

Remote work - advantages and disadvantages

Remote work is associated with specific profits for both the employer and the employee himself. The first of them can thus reduce the costs associated with the preparation and maintenance of the workplace. Moreover, in many cases such a solution is associated with an increase in the employee's efficiency. Research shows that when working hours are irregular, teleworkers often work longer hours and focus more on achieving the set target than on working the appropriate number of hours.

Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Remote work is also a great opportunity for people who cannot work in a different form. We are talking here in particular about people with disabilities, young mothers and employees who live far from the company's headquarters. Research also shows that teleworkers are much less stressed than their colleagues who spend long hours in the office.

There are also various risks associated with teleworking. First of all, the employer has limited possibilities to control working conditions (OHS) and progress in the implementation of tasks. This, in turn, may weaken the employee's motivation and decrease his involvement. Another problem may be the lack of organizational skills of a teleworker: household chores can crowd out jobs, and vice versa. Such an imbalance may result in having to catch up at the expense of sleep and health.

The negative side of remote work is also the isolation and lack of direct contact with other employees, which may affect the low identification of the teleworker with the company. On the other hand - remote work is work with the use of ICT or telecommunications equipment, which may fail and break down, thus making it difficult to perform tasks.

Controlling teleworkers

Due to the above-mentioned negative sides of remote work, the employer should take various actions regulating the performance of professional duties in this form. It is very important to clearly define the expectations towards teleworkers. Rules should be laid down regarding the frequency of visiting the company e-mail inbox and answering phone calls. In many cases, it is impossible to control the current results of remote work, so in this case it is worth setting clear and measurable goals.

It is also worth involving the available technologies in controlling the teleworker. It should be equipped with appropriate tools, organize online meetings in the form of teleconferences, and use files and cloud services enabling ongoing cooperation.

Another important rule is - of course as far as possible - organizing meetings and work in a shared space. This will allow for the establishment of a deeper relationship between the employed people, which will facilitate their cooperation in the future. In addition, it will make both the company, the tasks to be performed and the colleagues more real. If meetings are not possible then frequent videoconferences should be organized.

Trust and control - it is worth checking from time to time whether the employee is actually working, e.g. by asking a question via the communicator or asking him to send a report on the progress so far. Such actions, applied once in a while, will result in the teleworker - even if it tends to blur the boundaries between work and private life - will be more motivated to engage in professional duties reliably.