How and When to Tell Your Boss That Your Telecommuting Location Has Changed

Now that teleworking has become the norm, and not the exception, for many people who previously worked in the office, new questions about the device are emerging. Is your watch more flexible? How and when does your boss expect you to respond to his emails? If you work remotely, does it matter where your temporary office is? And should you tell your boss if you’re going to be working outside of your home? To find out, we spoke with HR specialists.

What do you have to tell your boss about your remote location?

When COVID first appeared and teleworking became the norm for many people, the initial instructions from employers were often simple, “go home and work from there,” says Julie Jensen, a 20-year HR professional and owner of Moxie. HR strategies . “Few thought about the living conditions their employees had or didn’t have,” she tells Lifehacker. “When it became clear that this would be a long-term requirement or, in some cases, a permanent requirement, I advised several organizations to come back and do the due diligence that was necessary [to bring about this kind of organizational change].”

At this point, if the employee can meet the demands of their job, Jensen says it doesn’t – and shouldn’t – matter where the job is done. Laura Hendrick , a seasoned HR specialist and author of Therapy Choice magazine , agrees. “It’s not about your employer how your work from home works, except that your employer knows it’s safe — you’re not going to trip over cables or start a fire with too many outlets — he has an internet connection, and there quiet, ”she tells Lifehacker.

After months of telecommuting, Jensen said, managers should have learned to trust the remote workforce, and employees had plenty of time to demonstrate their ability. But this does not mean that situations will not arise that can complicate the circuit that has been working all this time. Here’s what you need to know about them.

How to talk to your boss about working from a new remote location

First, as Hendrick points out, it doesn’t have to be a case of voluntarily giving your remote location to your manager – they can come and ask. For example, your boss might ask if you have a quiet place to take calls. “The answer might be yes, even if it’s your car,” she explains. “Your employer has the right to know that you can do your job remotely, but he has no right to tell you exactly how to do it, unless they are willing to pay for the room themselves. besides, they want you to have a personal account. “

But what if you need to move longer than it takes to talk on the phone? Here are some specific tips based on different scenarios.

Very short drive (like a car)

About ten years ago, Hendrick was reprimanded for speaking on a conference call in her car. “I doubt this will happen today, but my boss was annoyed to learn that I was about to leave town that day and was answering a team call from the passenger seat (my spouse was driving), not my home office.” she explains.

So, out of courtesy, Hendrik recommends that you tell your boss when your work situation is different from what you expected. For example, if your home office is equipped with a printer and one day you work in a coffee shop and your boss asks you to print documents for viewing, it might be helpful to let them know about your activities that day. …

On top of that, if data security is an issue, Hendrick says your employer needs to know where you work from and that you, for example, will be using a virtual private network (VPN) instead of publishing data to the public network. net.

Extended but temporary relocation

If, for example, you need to travel and live somewhere else for a period of time to care for a sick relative for several months, Jensen says employees should be allowed to do so, provided they can continue to meet their job requirements. … … But it doesn’t have to be as serious in a situation like this: if someone decides to work from their family’s hut or elsewhere, Jensen says it should be good (again, if they have access to everything they need to) .

And if it’s not an emergency – like having to leave town immediately to take care of a sick person – Jensen advises informing your manager of your new location ahead of time. “[So] there are no surprises and the company can take into account the whereabouts of all employees in the event of an emergency, such as the recent fires on the west coast,” she explains.

More permanent relocation

Jensen says that if an employee wants to change location permanently, they definitely need to discuss this with their manager and HR beforehand. She uses this example to illustrate why:

“I recently had a client whose California employee decided that although she was ordered to work from home for the next year, she could very well move to live in Arizona, where her boyfriend lives. She can certainly do her job from Arizona, but what she or her manager didn’t realize when they agreed to this arrangement is that companies pay taxes based on where employees are located. ”

Moreover, companies must be registered to conduct business in the city and / or state in which the employees reside. “So just moving to another state to work has serious financial, benefits and labor implications for the company,” says Jensen. “Therefore, no organization should unknowingly find itself in a compromise position that has serious consequences for both the company and its employees.”

The bottom line is that as long as you can get the job done and have the basic supplies and equipment, working from another remote location shouldn’t be a problem. Anytime you may not have access to your full routine setup, it is a good idea to let your supervisor know if something happens where it might make a difference. And if you want to make a more consistent move, make sure you involve your boss and HR in the conversation.

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