Make Sure Your Policies and Procedures Accurately Reflect Remote Work
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
In the past year, many healthcare call centers scrambled to adjust to ever-changing expectations and requirements to keep employees safe while continuing to work. Some call centers already had viable work-at-home protocols in place and a few were already 100 percent remote. Most phone centers, however, needed to accomplish a quick pivot to make working from home a viable reality.
By now, call centers have worked the technological and logistical bugs out of remotely answering phone calls from the security of a home office. Now is an ideal time to make sure your documentation matches reality and fully addresses the ramifications of people taking medical calls from home. Make sure your employee handbook, department manual, or written policies and procedures fully address staff who work remotely.
Though some managers have already brought employees back to the call center and others look toward doing it soon, this doesn’t mean they’re exempt from updating these critical documents. Why is that?
We may again find ourselves in a situation to repeat working from home. In addition, even if working from a centralized location reemerges as a standard call center operating procedure, some employees will request to continue answering calls remotely. Make sure you have everything in place to allow them to remain in their home office. If you’re unwilling to accommodate their request, you could find them leaving your organization to join one that will.
Notably, having now experienced it, some call centers have embraced remote work as a preferable operational model. They’ve sent their employees home for good. Now they only need to make sure their internal documentation aligns with this new reality.
If you’ve experienced staff working from home, you already know what you must cover in your documentation. This will get you started. Next, check with an attorney to address legal concerns. Also consider contacting a consultant who is familiar with off-site employees working out of home-based offices.
With these documents in place, you’ll find yourself ready to deal with whatever happens next.