Remote working is becoming increasingly popular among Australian businesses, as firms give their employees more freedom and flexibility to work outside of the office.

However, this trend has also prompted a warning from recruitment firm Hays on the dangers that come with this process. 

"Clear guidelines are needed to ensure the change in working patterns suits both parties," said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia.

"Employees working remotely must follow the same rules as those working in an office, including treating company information as confidential and keeping equipment and data safe."

So what extra responsibilities and discipline do managers need to take on when they are managing a remote workforce? Here are two important areas to consider.

Employee training

When workers are operating remotely, either from home or out at a client site, they need to have gone through the right training processes to handle this position.

Education on remote work should be included in every employee induction, even if workers are only away from the office a few days a month. Ongoing training should also be used by managers to support workers throughout the lifetime of their employment and to complement what is covered when they first start with your organisation.

Measure changes in productivity

One of the most common reasons for companies to offer remote or flexible working conditions is the increase in the productivity that comes from these changes. While there is a well-documented increase in productivity that comes from working from home, this doesn't mean you shouldn't track the results of this change.

Keeping track of the productivity of your remote or flexible workers can ensure that they are actually achieving more than they would in the office.

To learn more about how to deal with the health and safety obligations that come with remote working, download WorkPro's e-book on the topic. This contains a legislative overview and resources to help you implement appropriate systems at work.

WorkPro also offers an induction module for remote workers and a free teleworking resource centre to assist employers manage this health and safety risk.

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