Q: We are thinking about hiring our first remote employee. Is there anything we need to do differently?
A: Yes, there are several employment aspects to consider when hiring an employee who will be working outside of the office. You should establish policies around remote work such as availability, use of equipment, confidentiality, and information security. If you will be issuing equipment such as laptops or cell phones, you should have employees sign an Equipment Issue & Return Form to track the issued equipment as well as to document any costs, rules of usage, and expectation of return. You also want to make sure you properly on-board the employee so they understand their job duties and are integrated into the team.
If the employee will be working in a different state, you will need to follow employment laws that may differ from those in your state. These may include mandated sick pay, leaves, paid jury duty, paying out accrued vacation upon termination, etc. You will also need to establish new hire reporting, Workers’ Comp, and unemployment accounts for that state as well as setting up proper tax withholdings.
Given the current evolution of the workplace to a remote workforce, allowing your company to take these extra steps will open up a large population of potential employees for you.