5 Steps to Creating an Effective Work-from-Home Program

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Allowing employees to work from home can be a strong competitive advantage for employers who want to attract and retain top talent in this tight labor market. Job seekers and employees alike largely view working from home as a benefit/perk. If done right, a work-from-home program is a low-cost way for employers to make their employees happier and more productive. Work-from-home opportunities can be especially effective with attracting employees in the nonprofit or public sector if pay is not in line with the market. 

To ensure success, employers will need to:

1.     Identify and clearly state which jobs are eligible for the program. It doesn’t make sense for all employees to work from home. For example, a front desk coordinator would likely not be eligible. However, I challenge employers to think creatively. For example, is part of the front desk job typing reports that take 8 hours a month? Maybe it makes sense to have them work from home one day a month on a slow day?

2.     Establish a clear, defensible policy, addressing important factors such as: Work equipment, hourly employee time-tracking, expected availability, and effective communication. Make sure employees sign off on the policy.

3.     Ensure mutual agreement with the employee. If an employee doesn’t like working from home, or is less productive there, then it doesn’t make sense to have them work from home. Ask your employees what they prefer and monitor their success, adjusting as needed. 

4.     Clearly communicate performance expectations. Make sure your work-from-home employees understand the policy your performance expectations. Re-evaluate the situation if it doesn’t seem to be working out and ensure your policy states that the employer can stop the work-from-home arrangement at any time.

5.     Communicate to employees WHY you offer a work-from-home program. Is it because you value your employees and want to offer them unique benefits? Do you want your employees to save time and money on their commute? Advertise your work-from-home program as a benefit on your website and in your job ads.

Need help setting up a Work-From-Home program?

I work with employers all over the US to implement effective work-from-home programs. I’m a certified HR professional with over 15 years of HR experience in the nonprofit, public, and private sector. I’ve worked with Netflix, McDonald’s, US Airways, YWCA, Goodwill Industries and more. If you need a HR expert to help you implement a work-from-home strategy, contact me today: skyemercer@gmail.com


Skye Mercer, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

HR Consultant

Skye HR Consulting, LLC

© February 5, 2019, Skye Mercer, All Rights Reserved


Skye Mercer