Creating Topflight Remote Work Policies for 2022
January 20, 2022 | Bank Iowa
Businesspeople are carefully dipping their toes back into the waters of work life as we once knew it. While some toes are yanked back as quickly as they go in, others plunge deeper, cautiously enjoying what feels like a return to normalcy.
When it comes to the workplace, COVID concerns are just the beginning. Decision makers must balance health considerations with newly formed habits and preferences for getting the day’s work done. Many employees want to come back to the office (as many as 87 percent says a 2021 OnePoll survey). Yet, others have discovered great efficiency and life balance by working remotely.
Hybrid solutions seem like a terrific compromise, yet open up a slew of questions yet to be answered and policies yet to be created.
Creating a Best-in-Class Remote Work Policy
In late 2021, we asked Bank Iowa business clients whether they were more likely to invest in better remote work policies or better office spaces in 2022. The results were split. A slight majority, however, said improving remote work policies made the most sense for their companies. That may be due to the belief that our “work from anywhere” culture is only in its infancy.
If your company plans to create or update its remote work policies in 2022, HRMorning offers eight general rulesevery policy should cover:
1. Eligibility – which positions are and are not eligible to work remotely.
2. Availability – the hours of the day/night remote employees are expected to be reachable.
3. Responsiveness – how quickly a remote employee must respond and via which channels.
4. Measuring productivity – howwork will be tracked and evaluated.
5. Equipment – which tools / technologies will be provided and which employees must provide on their own.
6. Tech support – what remote employees do and who they contact when having technical difficulties.
7. Physical environment – sets parameters for a safe remote-work location.
8. Security – rules governing data security and privacy when dealing with sensitive business information.
Looking to start from scratch? SHRM offers a downloadable Telecommuniting Policy and Procedure template.
Build for the People, Not the Work
As our poll results indicate, flexibility is key. Physical spaces must be able to accommodate diverse attitudes and perceptions around health, safety and wellness. Remote experiences must be elastic enough to optimize individual work while allowing for teamwork across departments. This is more important now than ever as the corporate zeitgeist cries out for cross-functional collaboration.
Bank Iowa’s corporate offices were the benefactor of fortunate timing. Our spaces in West Des Moines were remodeled just ahead of the pandemic. Thanks to that remodel, the workplace easily accommodates social distancing with large conference rooms and options for one-way traffic. Our personalized workspaces also make it easy to work some days in the office, others at home and still others in a coffee shop.
“The remote-work writing was on the wall long before the pandemic, a trend you can see reflected in the design decisions we made for our corporate offices in 2019,” said Bank Iowa Chief Administrative Officer Kate Wolfe, who oversaw Bank Iowa’s remodel alongside Des Moines-based Workspace. “As our CEO Jim Plagge put it, ‘It can be tempting to build a space for the work, but we wanted to build for the people who do the work.’”
With more than $1.7 billion in assets, Bank Iowa ranks as one of the leading independent ag banks and the second-largest family owned bank in the state. Farmers, families and businesses access Bank Iowa’s products and services through 26 locations in 23 communities, as well as online and on mobile devices. To learn more, visit bankiowa.bank. Member FDIC.