Remote work has been gaining in popularity for years, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country earlier this year, it forced many companies to adapt to a new working model with greater rates of remote work than we have ever seen before. Now, as many states reopen, companies are looking at striking the right balance of in-house and remote employees to maximize efficiency and cut expenses.
While there are a myriad of benefits to using a blended workforce, it can make HR compliance challenging. There are a ton of concerns that arise when you have both in-house and remote workers, which is an area where experienced HR services can help you navigate. Some common challenges include:
- Classifying Workers Correctly: There has been a ton of recent legislation concerning how much responsibility employers have when they hire remote contractors. The central question revolves around whether remote employees can or should be classified as regular employees of the company or as independent contractors. HR services can help you identify when a remote worker meets the criteria for classification to each group and ensure you are complying with the applicable federal and state laws for your company.
- Identifying Appropriate Salaries: If you are using remote employees that are located in different geographical areas, calculating salaries that account for local costs of living, state tax requirements and other local regulations can be incredibly complex. This process is further complicated when the employers are obligated to reimburse remote employees for any related business expenses. HR services frequently bring their skill and knowledge to the table and can help you understand the issues that arise regarding compensation for both remote and in-house staff.
- Compliance Requirements: Having a blended workforce doesn’t necessarily change an employer’s compliance requirements. Certain things, such as the requirement for employers to display federal and state labor law posters, can be easily completed in a digital format for remote employees. Others, such as ensuring a safe offsite workspace, can be a bit trickier. HR services can help you understand how your obligations to both in-house employees and remote employees differ and identify a plan to meet these requirements without acquiring penalties for non-compliance.
- Writing New Policies: A blended workforce means that you need very clear policies for what are expected fromeach group of employees. Without these policies, confusion and misinformation will dominate the workplace and undoubtedly have a negative impact on productivity. Employees may perceive discrepancies, believe there is unfair treatment, or simply be confused about what they are expected to do. HR services can help draft clear policies that minimize the risk of any of these
- Hiring/Termination of Employees: Hiring, onboarding and training onboarding new employees can be a challenge – particularly if you are doing some of this on-site and some digitally. And terminating employees is always complex, no matter where they are located. HR services can assist with ensuring that all of the right processes are followed to streamline the hiring and training of new employees. These services can also ensure that terminating employees goes as smoothly as possible and that nothing is overlooked (digital access is revoked, employer property is retrieved, and all legal obligations are met).
- Drafting Employment Contracts: Employment contracts commonly need to include very specific language about performance conditions, but these conditions can be harder to monitor in a remote setting. Contracts for both in-house and remote employees need to reflect all the applicable responsibilities and compliance obligations to ensure that your company is protected. HR services can assist with this process to help ensure that your contracts contain all of the right details for any type of employee.
- Identifying Secure Practices: In the face of increasing data breaches – which were highly exacerbated when remote work became more prevalent – information security is crucial. Understanding how to treat data and the devices that employees use every day is crucial, and missteps can be costly. HR services can help all employees understand the importance of keeping data secure and help you implement the correct processes, software, and platforms to keep your company’s data safe.
Having a blended workforce can be a wonderful thing for many companies, especially in light of the new working models that have emerged as a result of the pandemic. However, navigating the challenges that arise with a blended workforce can be very challenging. HR services can often bring their experience, knowledge, and skills to your company and ensure that you have optimized your processes to meet compliance requirements.
CA HR Services specializes in working with small and medium-sized companies to help develop legal, efficient and appropriate HR processes and procedures that meet state and federal labor law requirements. Call us them today at 858-391-6601 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org