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Why companies need to create standard guidelines for working from home

8 June 2021 1:39 PM
Tags:
remote working
employment contract
COVID-19
working from home
wfh
workplace polices

CapeTalk host Lester Kiewit facilitates a discussion about how working from home can complicate office rules.
  • Companies have been encouraged to update their policies to account for remote working
  • There are many grey areas when it comes to employee conduct while working from home
  • Lester Kiewit chats to veteran financial journalist Larry Claasen and employment law expert Thabang Rapuleng
© katiemartynova/123rf.com

Organisations need to update their employment contracts and office policies to reflect the 'new normal' created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

So says Thabang Rapuleng, the Director of Employment Practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.

Rapuleng says working from home (WFH) has presented new legal and labour relations challenges for many companies.

RELATED: Drinking on the job while working from home? You could be in breach of contract

He says official guidelines are needed to outline which workplace rules apply for WFH and which don't.

Rapuleng makes the example of rules such as dress code, travelling, alcohol consumption and working hours.

He adds that too keep a good workplace culture the employment relationship needs to be built on trust and good faith.

When companies allow employees to work from home, they need to give some form of guidelines on what the policy needs to state.

Thabang Rapuleng, Director of Employment Practice - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

As a matter of exercising caution and to keep the goodwill, I would say employees must advise an employer if they intend to go out of town.

Thabang Rapuleng, Director of Employment Practice - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Many companies are having to relook at their policies, relook at their workplace practices and standards and employment contracts in order to incorporate this 'new normal' into the work culture going forward.

Thabang Rapuleng, Director of Employment Practice - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Financial journalist Larry Claasen says employers need to be accomodating and understanding when it comes to WFH.

He warns against excessive monitoring and poor communication. "You can't micro-manage people into performance", Claasen tells CapeTalk.

Companies just have to understand that people are human beings, this monitoring of your mouse just borders on ridiculous.

Larry Claasen, Deputy director - Moneyweb

You save so much time in the morning to get to work and prepare yourself at work.... All that time now is saved and goes to being productive.

Larry Claasen, Deputy director - Moneyweb

The real challenge is what I call the 'over the shoulder' conversation where you turn to your colleague to get some kind of rudimentary information... You have to communicate constantly with your colleagues [while working from home] in a way that eliminates blind spots.

Larry Claasen, Deputy director - Moneyweb



8 June 2021 1:39 PM
Tags:
remote working
employment contract
COVID-19
working from home
wfh
workplace polices

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