In order to protect employees from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare issued guidelines to implement telework, which recommends certain measures that should be taken into consideration for the performance of employees’ regular activities under this method, and for as long as possible.
Telework is commonly used to perform activities remotely, meaning outside the workplace. It is a special modality to provide services that are characterised by the use of information and telecommunications technologies.
Telework must be based on five principles: (i) trust, (ii) autonomy (regarding work shifts), (iii) respect, (iv) willfulness and (v) reversibility. To guarantee the desired results, the employer must make a diagnosis of the activities, functions and processes that can be performed outside of the workplace, including which personnel would be viable for working remotely and taking into consideration their individual skills, for example: autonomy, proactivity, initiative, decision-making capacity, resilience, results, discipline, self-regulation, communication, time management, planning and capacity to separate family and work life.
Employers are advised to determine, clearly, how the information will be shared and how communications will be developed, without invading the employee’s private life, by establishing specific ways to communicate (e-mail, telephone, etc.). Another important aspect is that the employer is obligated to provide the work tools to the employee, establish real goals or objectives to be achieved, duties and, in general, all working conditions agreed to between the parties. Therefore, employers are encouraged to enter in an agreement with their employees, in which all conditions applicable to telework are predetermined, well-defined and possible to execute.
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