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Policies Related to Off-site Staff

About 20% of our staff works off-site (out of the area, not telecommuters) and they are reimbursed for a multitude of home office and travel expenses. Some of the staff work remotely at their own request, but nonetheless get reimbursed for internet, home phone, travel to headquarters, etc. This situation is creating some issues with on-site staff. Does anyone have policies on this situation they would be willing to share?

Answers

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Internet, most people have access to internet in their home anyway. Now if the employees are required to carry a T-1 or a particular speed because of software of network issues, then I would think the company could include the difference in a stipend. The stipend could also include the cost of a dedicated phone line. However, with technology today, VoiP services and e-fax, a dedicated phone line is not always required anymore. No one should be complaining about supplying a computer or printer. Aren't your on-site employees provide the same at work. And the same could be said for their internet and phone service. The company is ensuring that their off-site office has all the amenities that the on-site employees enjoy. Other than a stipend to cover required technical connections for their work space, I don't see that you are required to pay for extras. Any employee coming into work for a meeting pays for their own gas and parking (unless parking is covered for on-site employees). The employee can deduct the mileage as a work expense on their taxes. Just because they choose to work from home does not mean them company is responsible for their transportation to required meetings.

I would suggest your off-site employee policy state that the company is responsible for the cost of ensuring the employee has access to the same quality and caliber of equipment and service as on-site employees. This does not mean that basic utility service billings will be covered in their entirety. The company offers a stipend to offset the additional monthly expense and installation, only.

That said, since you are offering to match the amenities offered on-site, this would include IT services and miles and time for those employees should be included when a service call is needed.

I hope that helps. Good luck with drafting a policy to bring peace to your company!

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