When a business has a partially remote workforce, or if everyone is working remotely, the organization is still incurring risk. Even when employees are working from home, the business may still be incurring legal risk, risk of compliance concerns, and risk of unpaid payroll taxes for a remote worker who operates out of state. MP’s HR services share five tips to help every business with remote employees to reduce risk and retain their teams of remote workers. These five tips also include recommendations around helpful tools to facilitate smoother remote work.
5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers
1. Ensure training requirements are compliant for all remote workers based on their state.
When a business has remote workers, their home may be in another state. If remote workers are primarily working from their home, their home becomes a “work location” and the employer is subject to compliance regulations for that location. This is true if even just one person is working from this location. One common area of compliance is training. Employers should ensure they provide the required training with the required content to all employees. With remote workers, tools like MP’s Learn and Grow platform can help make this task easier. Employees can access trainings at any time because courses are online and often in video format, not delivered by one person in an office.
2. Register for payroll taxes in every location of remote workers and stay updated on payments.
Employers with remote workers may need to be paying extra payroll taxes for their employees if their home is in a different state than the main office. This is true if even just one remote worker lives out of state. Employers with remote workers must register to pay these taxes and ensure that their employees are also paying the taxes they’re responsible for.
3. When onboarding remote workers, check-in with the person and offer help more frequently.
When hiring remote workers for the team, it’s important to reach out more to them than the ones that would come to the office. Often remote workers won’t have the same moments as office workers to ask questions. Because they are online, remote workers will never casually run into their teams in the hallway or at the coffee station. To help make remote workers feel welcome and supported by their teams, managers and teammates should check in more frequently. They should conduct at least some of this checking in via video calls to help make stronger personal connections.
4. Make an audit of the employee handbook to ensure it’s in compliance for the location of all remote workers.
Employers should make an audit of their employee handbook to ensure it’s in compliance for all locations where everyone is working. Even if there’s just one employee working online in a certain state, this will make the company subject to the compliance requirements for that location. It may help to be working with an HR expert (like the ones at MP) when working on this task.
5. One of the best tips for handling remote workers is developing a telework policy for work done out of the office.
Everyone with employees working online will benefit deeply from developing a telework policy. This policy should cover topics such as the tools employees will use, the schedules everyone is expected to be working online, how employees will help to answer questions, when everyone is expected to deliver work or make deadlines, how everyone will conduct and schedule meetings (including whether they’ll be over the phone, video or via any other tools, etc). Employers should make this policy available to everyone working remotely. They should also get signatures of acknowledgement from everyone and keep them in one easily accessible record. (MP’s HR software and systems are excellent tools for performing this kind of task.)
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