Importance of Employee Handbook for Remote Employees

Handbooks are important HR-Communication documents for many corporate organizations and institutions. Remote employees must understand the provisions contained in the employee handbook for remote employees. That, essentially, is what the handbook for remote workers is about.

What Is an Employee Handbook?

An employee handbook or staff manual is an in-house informative handbook that outlines the principles, vision, and mission of a company. A great employee handbook should outline the roles of employees of that company, and spell out the policy of the company as well. This point needs to be stated because if the corporate policies of a brand are not known, people have no structure to follow.

In essence, the handbook represents a work policy template or a structure that keeps everyone in line, from the management staff to the first-time employee. It has sections applicable to the junior employees, and sections applicable to the company or the employer.

Furthermore, the employee handbook details best practices rules, and guidelines that each member of staff of that company is expected to conform to. They help people understand the dos and don’ts of establishments they belong to because they contain the basic rules and regulations, and other facts about that organization.

Why an Employee Handbook for Remote Workers?

Employee handbooks are also essential asynchronous communication tools for remote companies that have teams spread across the globe. Aligning to the company’s values, culture, and goals is even more important when distributed.

In the remote work industry that has grown more robust in recent years, Companies and businesses hiring remote workers prepare handbooks for these workers. This will not only be helpful to the remote employees but is good for the company as well. it ensures that everyone is on the same page and is working towards a common goal.

For starters, the remote employee handbook helps new hires to know more about the company they just got hired to work with. By reading the remote employee handbook, you know what an organization stands for, what they do, its values, your role within that organization, and what is expected of you. Questions you have in your mind can be answered, and uncertainties can be clarified through the pages of the employee handbook for remote workers.

Another issue to have in mind is the covid-19 pandemic that triggered a rebirth of the remote work industry. If your team members work in other cities and states, you can’t have a one-on-one with them, and you can’t invite them to the headquarter location for a tour of the facility. That’s what a great employee handbook outlining the process of your business will take care of.

Ideally, a company with a remote-first attitude starts building its handbook from day one by establishing and writing down its values and providing clear and realistic expectations on goals from its remote teams. The time and resources put into building a great handbook for remote workers may be substantial, but in the end, it’s worth it.

An Employee Handbook Can Determine your Company’s Output and provide Flexible Remote Work

Employee handbooks should be one of the most important aspects for your human resources manager to work with. It’s always a good idea to get a remote employee handbook ready if you operate a remote company and have workers from other cities and states on your team.

As we reiterated, it determines the day-to-day activities of the company. It also determines output. Your HR cannot do without having an employee handbook for remote workers as a reference point or guidelines for the staff members of the company.

Sometimes along the way, information could get sketchy and foggy in an employee’s mind, so they find that they often have to return to the employee’s handbook occasionally to refresh their minds. In some cases, it is expected that workers read through the handbook every once in a while, to keep themselves abreast of the company’s rules and policies.

A Great Handbook for Remote Workers Reflect Company’s Philosophy and Policy

If you work in a formal setting, you’ve likely seen and read an employee handbook before. It’s also likely that along with filling out sections of your appointment form, you were required to acknowledge receiving the handbook to ensure you got it upon being hired by the company.

During the hiring process of the organization, HR usually briefs new employees about the company policies and structure. But they still have to give them a printed copy of the handbook, so they can read it afterward, and as often as occasion demands.

The handbook ideally represents the company’s philosophy, rules and policies, best practices, and everything else a new hire would need to know on their first day. These points are presented in basic form, straightforward, and easy to understand.

As an employer of labor, you should ensure to make a handbook ready if your company doesn’t have one yet. When people have strict guidelines to follow, the business can become more productive. Everyone knows what they’re meant to do and the conduct expected of them at all times.

Bridging Communication Gap with the Employee Handbook for Workers Working Remotely

Another importance of an employee handbook is that it helps to bridge the communication gap that may exist in the corporate entity, between the employers and the employees. It is the responsibility of companies to draw up a detailed and well-outlined handbook that covers crucial information concerning that organization.

However, beyond helping to bridge the employer-employee relationship and foster growth of the brand, a good handbook for employees is a welcome package for new employees, giving them a feel of their new work environment. Through the tone of the employee handbook, the new worker already has an idea of what to expect as they join the remote organization.

A comprehensively packaged handbook is great for inspiring diligence and loyalty in employees, especially if it contains the company’s history, records of failures and success, how the corporate vision was birthed, and other interesting facts about how the business was established or what the company hopes to achieve long-term.

What’s more? It’s even better if the handbook specifically refers to employees’ bonuses and rewards, and the plans the company has for loyal staff members who exhibit qualities consistent with the brand ideologies.

The company’s management must understand that if the workers don’t believe in the culture or policy of the company that’s hiring them they won’t feel the need to give their best. In the end, this negative attitude will defeat the purpose for which the business is set up.

An Employee Handbook is the Voice of the Brand

A great employee handbook is not just a piece of document to read and memorize, everyone within the company must be aware that it represents the company’s s voice. It is like the soul of the company, without which things may get out of control.

The employee handbook is not just any book, it is an essential HR tool for companies and business establishments that are serious about building a credible and responsible team. If you’re hiring a professional HR Services Company to prepare your company’s handbook for remote workers, be sure to supply them with all the necessary information they might require.

When writing a company’s handbook for employees, the HR team should refrain from copying directly from handbooks of other companies. It is doubtful whether your core principles or voice would align with those of another, even if you’re in the same industry.

A company that’s into entertainment and sports, for instance, would likely have their handbook ring and feel differently from a company that operates in the finance or health industry.

Information Every Great Employee Handbooks Should Contain for workers working in Remote work area

As with people, organizations are different. There are no hard and fast rules about the exact details that every employee handbook should have since companies have different visions, objectives, and principles. Each handbook is unique, depending on the particular organization.

You could find sections in the employee handbook that you won’t find in the handbook of another organization. That is fine because after all, the handbook should only reflect the culture and voice of a given company to its employees. It may be unrealistic to assume that one cap fits all; each company with its policies and requirements.

As we said, there isn’t a rule stating what should or shouldn’t be found in the handbook. It all depends on the company and who’s writing the handbook.

However, there are basic items consistent with most handbooks for workers. These include but are not limited to the following:

• Company introduction
• How to use the handbook
• Founding/company’s history
• Management profile
• Company’s mission, vision, policies, and core values
• Company’s legal policies
• Employee-Employer expectations
• Company-wide objective and key results (OKRs)
• Remote workers’ hiring methods
• Remote work policy and requirements of remote employees
• Benefits and allowances of remote workers
• Group/department-specific information
• Team profiles and structure
• Staff profiles
• Operation procedures and guidelines
• Communication protocol/Chain of communication
• Monthly or quarterly goals
• Company directory or org chart

Basic Considerations for Preparing a Handbook for Remote Employees and Teams

Creating a handbook for remote employees isn’t necessarily a tall order, although it requires diligence and some brainstorming. Once you have your points and company’s fact outlined, your HR team can sit through it and develop what would be referred to as a great handbook.

However, the digital age has made it possible to start and finish your handbook for your employees in record time. You don’t need to go through the long, old-fashioned route to creating your unique handbook. There are templates available on the internet, as well as apps and software you can simply adopt, doctor, make a few changes, and there you have it; your employee handbook is ready.

Tech Services for Building the Best Remote Employee Handbook

Meanwhile, as we mentioned above, there are helpful resources and services online that can make creating a handbook easy for you. The following are some of the available digital tech platforms that can help you with building a remote employee handbook for your remote teams:

GitLab

GitLab’s Collaborative All-Remote Handbook is one of the most popular services online for building employee handbooks. GitLab is quite popular and has great reviews. For now, this platform offers the most extensive remote work handbook service available in the world.

One of the unique features of GitLab is that it doubles as an encyclopedia of information as well. Furthermore, GitLab has a feature that enables pages in the handbook to be updated and edited as any of the collaborators see fit.

Basecamp

Although Basecamp’s handbook isn’t quite as popular as GitLab, it’s pretty much adaptive and goes straight to the point. A unique aspect of Basecamp’s handbook is that it comes with a 15-chapter slideshow that goes over the history of the company, travel guides, and policies.

Basecamp is quite a useful service that projects the key policies of the company without taking too much space and time with irrelevant content. That’s a great feature; considering the sheer size of a document like a handbook can be daunting for many employers. People don’t necessarily want to sit through the handbook for many hours or days.

Glitch

The first feature of the Glitch handbook is that they do not rely on the Git protocol. In terms of content, the Glitch handbook is very similar to Basecamp, and they’re the only handbook service that does not rely on Git protocol. Also, Glitch is not heavy on content, which isn’t a bad thing. Time is of the essence, and a new worker joining the corporate team can pretty much run through a Glitch handbook in a few hours. Now that’s a good thing!

Toptal

This is a great place to build a great handbook for your remote employees. Toptal’s rich handbooks have helped remote companies fashion decent and realistic goals and visions over the years. Their handbook is rich with helpful genuine tips to advance your business and foster productivity with your remote workers.

Furthermore, Toptal’s core uniqueness is in the area of providing career development advice, mentorship, suggestions to the company on sourcing, and tips to hire and keep the best talents. Realistic goal-setting advice is also available in Toptal’s handbook.

Trello

Trello’s employee handbook has been described as a dashboard, with different boards and sections for different purposes. On the Trello handbook, you have a board that caters to new the onboarding process of new hires. There’s also a board that contains a directory of other policy pages, as well as notes regarding the daily privileges of a new employee.

Another cool edge Trello has over the other employee handbooks is that it is staff-centered; its main boards are all dedicated to employee benefits and policies. The setup and outline of Trello make it easy for employees to use without encountering bottlenecks in the process. The remote work policy on Trello is well defined, such that even first-time users can go through the policy and understand the essential requirements of working remotely.

Hanno

Hanno operational blueprint handbook is another good handbook service you can check out. Theirs is an easy-to-read document that spells out your company’s process to your team, thus making them a part of the process. This will give your employees a feeling of belonging; they know they’re part of the brand and what they can expect by joining the team.

The Employee Handbook: Indispensable Tool for Business Growth

As you’ve seen, a handbook for remote workers will prove an important in-house communication tool your HR has. The general idea of a handbook for employees is an in-house HR tool that contains talks about workplace culture and ethics, the values of a brand, and so on.

If the company’s rules and policies are not articulated clearly, it can be easy for the company and staff to have occasions of differences and slip into a legal confrontation. But the handbook can save an organization thousands of dollars in legal costs by clarifying company policies.

Hopefully, now you understand the importance of creating a handbook and how to design a viable employee handbook. The bottom line is that you have a better chance of fostering the great culture of your organization if you outline what you’re looking for in your employee and what you’re offering within the pages of a handbook.

Don’t Forget Your Remote Work Policies while building Work policy template

One more thing; while building your remote employee handbook, bear in mind the remote work policy. You have to state it in clear terms. A company with vague work policy will hardly stand the test of time.

You must also have in mind that the best employee handbook never goes out of date, so you should be ready for change and update your employee handbook as often as necessary. The world has never been the same post pandemic, why should your handbook remain the same with old, irrelevant information?

Considering how the corporate world has evolved in recent years as a result of the economic meltdown of the global economy and the covid-19 outbreak, remote work is here with us for good. What remote work policy is your company operating? It should be spelled out.

That is why you constantly need to update your working from home policies in your employee handbook to avoid miscommunication and complacence on the part of your team. Now is not the time to lose our remote employees.