A majority of Colorado employers plan to let their employees work from home after pandemic restrictions are lifted, but according to a recent survey, many need advice on practices and policies for permanent remote work arrangements.
The Colorado Society for Human Resource Management and the Denver Regional Council of Governments surveyed 229 HR professionals from a mix of industries and companies of all sizes about their plans for returning to the workplace.
The survey released last month revealed 56% plan to allow employees whose work can be performed remotely to work from home, with some limitations on when and how often, after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions end. Another 28% said employees whose jobs can be performed remotely will be allowed to work from home with no limitations on when or how often they do so. Only 10% said employees will not be authorized to work from home, and 5% were unsure.
Respondents also reported positive attitudes about remote work among senior management. According to the survey, 30% of HR professionals said senior management at their organizations viewed remote work “very favorably” and 32% said they viewed it “favorably.”
Snell & Wilmer partner Elizabeth Wylie said that, in her experience, many employers are holding off on long-term decisions to see how long it takes for their workforce to get vaccinated and whether workers want to come back voluntarily.
“I think that many companies are considering moving larger segments of their workforce to remote work arrangements just to save on overhead space,” Wylie said, adding that some employers are waiting to decide about future remote work plans when their office leases are up for renewal.
Fisher Phillips partner Kristin White said employers who have decided to move to long-term remote work arrangements should be thinking about establishing a comprehensive work-from-home policy. Work-from-home or telework policies typically define expectations around work hours, breaks and overtime, productivity, use of technology, data privacy and cybersecurity.