Remote work, or at least a hybrid of it, has become the new norm for many companies. And with this comes a new set of changes and challenges. It is crucial to update your employment contracts to fit remote-based work, to ensure that your company and your employees maintain a mutually beneficial relationship. But how do you make a contract for remote employees—and what should it contain?
What Is a Contract for Remote Employees?
A contract for remote employees is similar to a regular work contract. But it is tailored to cover the specifics that come when an employee works remotely (i.e. not in a traditional office). It contains special provisions to compensate for the pros and cons of working from home or at a location away from the office.
What to Include in a Contract for Remote Employees
Since a contract for remote employees is still an employment contract, it should include all the necessary sections of regular employer-employee agreements such as policies, salary, and responsibilities. That said, some additional sections should be added.
Traditional work environments require employees to come to work on specific days, at certain times (e.g. Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM). But remote work often has much more flexibility when it comes to scheduled work hours, especially if the employee works in a different time zone.
The contract must include an agreement about the employee’s schedule. Are they required to work at the same hours as other employees regardless of their timezone, or do employees have the freedom to work on their own time as long as they complete their deliverables?
Additionally, this section should cover in detail the best manner for employees to clock their hours and how to deliver them to the accounting department.
Aside from detailing the expected responsibilities of the position, the work arrangements section of an employment contract contains workflow processes, how project collaboration works and explains the channels of communication within the company. The details hee on how employees work together and communicate with other members of the team should cover everything a new hire needs to know.
This section also touches on mandatory meetings, core work hours (i.e., a specific period when all employees must be online), and performance measurements.
Benefits and Reimbursements
Aside from—or in place of—regular benefits, some companies provide remote work-related benefits such as co-working space memberships and travel allowance. Moreover, reimbursements can include work-from-home expenses like internet and home office supplies.
These details should be ironed out in the contract so the employee can enjoy the perks of working remotely and the employer can account for the expenses this setup might accrue. It would also be helpful to include details on how these benefits and reimbursements are provided between the employer and the employee.
This section should answer questions like “how will the employee receive benefits?” and “how are reimbursements given?” Questions such as these can be asked in an interview.
Equipment and Software
Employees need the necessary equipment and software to perform their jobs. But remote employees do not always have access to the same equipment as their in-office co-workers. To account for this, some companies provide their remote employees with company paid for computers, software, and other equipment depending on what the position requires. But there are also employers who require hires to provide their own equipment and only compensate their employees for internet bills or paid computer programs like Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, etc.
It is important to include details about your equipment arrangement in the contract, especially if you are lending equipment to a remote employee. This is to ensure that property is cared for, details on how it is to be used and eventually returned, along with the potential consequences if the equipment is damaged or stolen.
Code of Conduct
Although remote work grants employees more freedom, the environment is still professional. So there should be a set of rules and policies to follow.
The company’s code of conduct for employees on a remote team and the company’s expectations regarding this should be included in the contract. Doing so ensures that the company keeps its reputation while protecting the professional welfare of its employees, especially if they are to represent the company in any way.
Contracts protect both the employer and the employee, so employers need to know how to make them, even more so when it comes to new arrangements like with remote work. But if you’re an employer who has no time for these intricacies, Guru can help connect you with qualified freelancers, from setting up a WordPress site to creating an original work of art.