today’s work place: telecommuting

June 7, 2017

The company I worked for, recently began a telecommuting program. The company is rather old fashioned. Telecommuting is definitely new and an uncomfortable policy for the management. You can say they were forced into it, kicking and screaming. The company has out-grown its current location, and needs a bigger building. Usually, companies in such situation, find another building within 5 -10 miles of the old location, to ease any commuting concerns. However, this company, in its wisdom, decided to move to a new building 30 miles away. Fearing that enough employees may refuse to move with it, a telecommuting policy was reluctantly adopted.

One of the telecommuting policy states:

Work Site
A designated workspace must be maintained by the employee that is quiet, free of distractions, and kept in a clean, professional, and safe condition, with adequate lighting and ventilation.

That seems reasonable enough. Then the next sentence:
The work site will be subject to periodic safety inspections during normal business hours on two hours’ advance notice.

This requirement brought out some chuckles. “Seriously, they are going to come to my house and inspect my home office area?” There were even some questions about whether the company can legally do that. Yes, they can. It is legal.

Employers are responsible and liable, whether it’s in-office or home office. For example, if a customer visiting an employee’s home office, had an accident and damaged their high-end computer, the company is responsible for the loss. Also, telecommuting employees have the same worker’s compensation benefit as in-office employees. For these and other legal reasons, employers are entitled to require and inspect a proper home work place.

So, telecommuters, better be able to clean up your place on two-hour notice.

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One Response to “today’s work place: telecommuting”

  1. annalice said

    hahah who knew! so many people work from home and probably few homes would actually meet inspection standards

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