Ways to Keep Good Work Ethics Remotely

Since the beginning of the health crisis, companies have had to transition to remote work as offices could not welcome their employees. HR departments have had to adjust and support their teams while they were transitioning. So, companies had to establish guidelines for remote work ethics.

Some firms, mostly in the Tech industry, have converted to full remote work, as presence in the office has diminished in importance. Research shows that with the technological advancements, employees realised they can conduct the same work from home which resulted in a large decrease in motivation to come to the office. Currently, around 63% of companies have at least some remote workers, yet the large majority do not have any remote work policy in place. This lack of policies has created « unspoken » rules, such as common courtesy when communicating online i.e., not multitasking during an online meeting for example. This means employees might believe certain actions are allowed since they have been officially unprohibited. As a result, HR departments should make sure to adopt new ways of keeping good ethics at work when their employees are working from home.

To have a successful and understandable remote work policy, it is necessary to go over the current ethics policies and adjust them where needed. Since across the company roles differ greatly, they should first determine the eligible positions to work remotely. Companies without remote-compliant positions should state that in their guidelines from the beginning. As an advantage of working from home is having more flexibility when it is needed, employers should state in the guidelines the overall availability expectations and then trust their employees to fulfil them. This will eliminate the possible frustration between employers and employees. They should similarly specify how productivity will be measured differently than in person; time spent on a project, number of cases solves or number of client interactions.

Another issue companies must deal with is cybersecurity to protect the firm’s confidential information when working from home. Big organisations often work on secured networks, where security is guaranteed at the office. If companies want their employees to work only on private secured Wi-Fi even when working remotely, they should state that in their policies. Some cyber security risks with remote work include weak passwords, unencrypted file sharing, insecure home Wi-Fi and lastly, working from personal devices.

Since last year, many shifts have also occurred in the Life Sciences industry: patient and customer centricity, digital interactions, workforce agility, etc. HR teams must adjust as more than 60% of employees started working remotely. Even one year after suspended clinical trials have resumed, many interactions between physicians and patients are done remotely.

Therefore, with the rise of remote work across industries, HR departments are going through difficult changes and must make sure to have a structured set of guidelines to ensure efficiency and fairness in operations. Although, there are advantages of working remotely, it is necessary for firms to readjust their rules for employees at home.

References:

  1. Reimagining How Life Sciences Work Will be Done in the Next Normal, October 2020, McKinsey&Company.
  2. The 10 Rules Found in Every Good Remote Work Policy, March 2020, TechRepublic.
  3. Remote Work Cyber Security Risks, April 2021, SosCanHelp.