challenges of working remotely

Are We Ready for All Potential Challenges of Working Remotely?

Are we ready for all potential challenges of working remotely? This article will evaluate this question. While remote working has been gaining popularity in recent years, remote working is challenging for all kinds of people, from employees to employers.

What is Work From Home?

The Work From Home (WFH) means full or part-time employees working from home on a regular basis. For that reason, there are numerous distance workers around the world. They have to do their jobs from home. Teleworking has become a new phenomenon after the Pandemic across the world.

For more information about the meaning and advantages or disadvantages of remote working, see our article on “The Work From Home During and Beyond the Pandemic”.  

What Sort of Legal Steps Are Necessary For Teleworkers?

We present the following suggestions for better protection of the remote workers.

See also our article on “The Five Biggest Remote Work Challenges“.

1. The Recognition of Rights of Remote Workers

Firstly, managers are obliged to keep in mind the rights of distance workers at every stage. Managers should develop new remote working policies in the light of international human rights. Particularly, remote employees must be granted the same rights and guarantees as on-site employees. Keeping business and personal data separate is significant to exercise the right to privacy. Constant video recording might be quite dangerous for teleworkers. It is clear that such performance control methods may be abusive. Hence, the monitoring of employee performance must function in compliance with the protection of personal data.

It is also significant to recognize the right of employees to disconnect after completion of their working hours. The right of teleworkers to avoid any work-related contact outside their working hours and statutory or contractual leaves is an obligation.

2. The Provision of Office Supplies and Services

Secondly, employers should provide teleworkers with the necessary tools and utilities to carry out remote work. It is critical to pay for necessary work equipment, office supplies and services at home. Payment types should include computers, printers, phones and peripherals such as monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headset. Besides, the service of electricity, lighting, phone, internet and installation/maintenance costs must be payable by corporations. Technical support must be always available.

3. Insurance Policy Coverage

The insurance policy of distance employees should cover his/her occupational safety and health troubles at home.

4. The Development of New Working Standards and Principles

Employers need better legal protective standards and principles in order to measure the performance of teleworkers. It is significant to allow employees a flexible working schedule. Because their day-to-day life, daily routine and more importantly family commitments are still going on at home. Transparently designating available hours and do-not-disturb times, to be more specific, both working and off hours schedule is necessary.

5. Tax Exemption

It is critical to grant tax-free status to teleworkers for their occupational activities at home.

6. The Introduction of Legislation

Last but not least, keeping in mind all the above-mentioned considerations, national parliaments should pass through a teleworking legislation as fast as possible. Such an approach will pave the way for binding legal instruments regarding the rights and obligations of teleworkers and managers.

For an example of such legislative step, see the Regulation on Remote Work (in Turkish).

Conclusion

Are we ready for all potential challenges of working remotely? That remains open to discussion. Certain countries make preparations through administrative or legal actions for  potential legal conflicts and their best solutions regarding the WFH. A fresh perspective, as analyzed above, is needed for improving the national legal framework at the national and international level.

Moreover, a full-fledged legal guidance must be delivered to teleworkers and employers for  solving all potential disputes on time. Legal gaps and drawbacks may only be fulfilled by strategic and right legal consultation.

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