Work From Home Checklist for Onboarding Remote Employees
When a company makes the switch to remote work, it's a significant change for both the employees and the company itself. It can be scary and stressful, not to mention costly if you don't come up with a comprehensive strategy and plan for the transition. That is why a work-from-home checklist can simplify the whole process for all parties involved.
And even if your employees are already used to working remotely, onboarding them into your setup has its challenges but is ultimately the most effective path forward. As with any project, having a roadmap will always make the journey smoother. A WFH checklist will help you create a list of things that you need to do in order to help your remote employees set up their home office so that it's safe and productive.
While transitioning to a distributed arrangement, companies must make sure their remote employees have an adequate place for fulfilling their duties. A 2021 survey by Flexjobs reported that only 24% out of 2,100 participants had a designated home office. When it is your first time working remotely, it is easy to resort to working from a non-designated office like the kitchen or bedroom. However, this can make it difficult for employees to focus on their tasks without being distracted by household chores, other people talking around them, or simply not having the space they need to get things done.
Must-Have Work From Home Checklist
With a checklist in hand, you'll be able to make sure that every aspect of your transition is taken care of. Let's go over the essential work-from-home checklist items for a smooth remote office transition.
1. Home Office Safety
One of the first steps towards a distributed workforce is to provide your employees with safe working conditions at home. This means that you should make sure that everything in their home office is up to code and that there are no hazards. You should also make sure they have the equipment they need to work safely and efficiently such as comfortable sitting, a sturdy desk, computer equipment, internet connection, and other office supplies.
Creating a safe and comfortable work environment can help you avoid accidents or other unforeseen events that may diminish your employees’ performance. A survey commissioned by Chubb in 2020, after the start of the pandemic, reported that 41% of Americans were experiencing increased back, wrist, and shoulder pain after starting to work remotely. Because of this, ergonomics should be part of any work from home checklist.
Make sure that your checklist covers the following health and safety precautions for working from home:
- Team members have state-of-the-art ergonomic equipment to ensure their health and safety, and everyone has been trained on how to properly use it.
- Employee home office setups have been digitally vetted through video and photographs, ensuring the right lighting, ventilation, and location.
- Potential hazards like bundles of cords or a staircase have been flagged and resolved.
The need for clear guidelines and policies is more important than ever as the world of work pivots to remote workforces. Establishing work from home checklist guidelines will help employees know what is expected of them and how they can best accomplish their goals. In order to build an effective workforce, it is important for employers and employees to make sure their responsibilities are clearly defined through adequate policies.
It is important to remember that the same safety precautions that would be taken in a traditional office environment should also be taken when working from home. By establishing clear guidelines and policies, employers can help ensure that work from home employees are safe.
Here are some of the most important aspects to consider in your checklist regarding liability:
- A team management structure has been defined in which everyone's duties and working hours are registered.
- WFH workspace guidelines have been established and photographic proof has been logged showing that remote employees are taking all safety measures into account.
- The company's remote work policy can be easily accessed by team leaders and others.
Efficient communication is paramount in any organization, but the challenge becomes more difficult for a remote team. With remote work, you need to make sure there are clear channels of communication set up between everyone in the company. While you can’t be there to give directions or answer questions in person, it’s important to make sure your employees know how they can reach you and the rest of the team when they need help.
Employees need clear and easily accessible communication channels in order to carry out their daily tasks, as well as access to managers so they know how best to accomplish the goals of the company. Make sure your company is following these items on their checklist for remote work:
- All remote team members have access to the company’s day-to-day operations and process information.
- A communication structure has been defined showing that everyone has the information they need to do their jobs.
- Company goals like OKRs. KPIs, etc. are clearly communicated and understood.
Being able to see the processes you follow is one of the most important aspects of working from home. The clearer your process and workflow are, the easier it will be for you and your team members to know what needs to be done.
Having a set of tools available that lets people help themselves works wonders for distributed teams. If someone needs a document in a particular format or some information on a specific topic, they should have access to them without having to wait on someone else who may not be available at that time.
As with any business operation, information security must always be taken into account when working from home or remotely. This means keeping all sensitive data in secure storage areas, like cloud services, and taking necessary precautions to avoid cyber attacks/.
To make sure employees stick to your company's processes, include these items in your checklist:
- Workflows for every process have been clearly defined and documented and are accessible to all team members.
- Distributed teams have all the tools they need, both digital and physical, to get their jobs done, and everyone has been trained on proper usage.
- All precautions regarding information security have been taken.
Culture is the foundation of a remote work environment. If you don’t trust your team members to do their jobs fully and commit to helping them be successful, then why should they trust you?
This means taking an active role in building a culture where people feel comfortable asking questions or voicing their opinions. A good company culture should make sure that everyone understands that if they need help with something or just want to talk about issues at work—whether personal or related to company culture—that there are people on hand who can listen without judgment or bias.
Additionally, without in-person meetings and a physical office space to share, it can be difficult for employees to get to know each other. This can lead to feelings of isolation, which can cause people on your team to feel disengaged from their work or even leave the company altogether. That is why having activities to promote social interactions can help your employees stay happy and motivated.
Take these items into account in your checklist for a solid remote work culture:
- With the tools equipment and processes needed to excel, you trust your team members to do their jobs to their fullest potential.
- Every company has a story, sometimes many; there's a story about why your company made the switch to a remote workplace, so make sure you can tell it well.
- Without the usual office gathering spaces for much-needed social interactions throughout the day, devise a plan for taking this remote, such as group video happy hours or light exercise that can be done as a group.
A work-from-home checklist is key for businesses that are making the transition from on-site to distributed work arrangements. This list helps companies to make sure that all aspects that are necessary for an employee to work at home are met, ranging from safety to culture.
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