Work-From-Home Regulations Are Coming. Companies Aren’t Ready | MIT Sloan Management Review

Workforce Trends

Leaders continue to make decisions about their firms’ hybrid and remote work policies and practices. While much of this discussion has focused on topics such as the number of days workers are required to be in the office, this new article raises another factor for leaders to consider: complying with a growing set of regulatory frameworks governing remote work. The article submits that the increased utilization of remote work has prompted a surge in new regulatory developments aimed at making sure remote workers, home workers, and teleworkers are protected under existing environmental, health, and safety legislation and guidelines. These developments have even greater implications for global firms that need to deal with different compliance requirements in various jurisdictions and which have different definitions of remote work. For example, in Spainremote work is defined as a work activity that is performed either at the worker’s home or at another place of their choice at least 30% of the time over three months. Germany draws distinctions between mobile work, which is any work that uses information technology that is performed outside of the business premises, and telework, which is defined as work that is only and permanently performed at the employee’s home. At the same time, the right to disconnect has become a big issue in the European Union, which is seeking to formalize employees’ rights to disengage from work and refrain from work-related electronic communications during non-work hours. Leaders should ensure they factor these jurisdictional nuances into their organizations’ decisions on remote and hybrid work. Other ideas are discussed. For more MIT Sloan Management Review articles, visit their website.