Work-from-Home Policy at Mission Analytics Group, Inc.

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Because the team approach is integral to Mission Analytics Group’s (Mission’s) success, it is Mission’s policy that work-from-home should be limited to unusual circumstances. However, limited and structured work-from-home is a potential privilege of working at Mission.

WORK-FROM-HOME

 “Work-from-home” (WFH), also known as “telecommuting,” in this case is defined as any work arrangement where work is done away from the office, whether it be from home or from any other suitable work environment outside the office, for any amount of time (i.e., does not have to take place all eight hours or every day). The “office” is considered Mission’s headquarters: 235 Montgomery Street, Suite 1049.

At Mission, a “suitable work environment” is considered a workspace that has Internet access, access to your work computer (remote or VPN access), little to no regular distractions, sufficient space to work effectively, and sufficiently quiet surroundings to work effectively. Using your home as a workplace is recommended. Other spaces may be suitable work environments temporarily, but not for an entire eight-hour workday. For example, working at a café with Internet may be suitable for a few hours, but it is discouraged as a full-day work environment.

Remote access is when the you access your work computer’s interface from your personal computer. (Remote access is required to access the data processing zone.) VPN access is when you connect to Mission’s network remotely to complete your work on your personal computer’s interface. Instructions for both these options are available.

It is not Parachute’s (our IT provider’s) responsibility to help set up your home computer. Any such help from Parachute is a professional courtesy. If you need ongoing IT assistance to work from home, you do not have a suitable remote work environment.

WHY IS WFH A PRIVILEGE AT MISSION?

WFH’s effectiveness as a work arrangement has been a controversial topic with HR research and organizational psychology. Improved information/communication technology and shifting family roles, especially for parents, have recently led to part-time WFH as a more prevalent work arrangement. A number of Mission employees also have long commutes.  An often-cited meta-analysis suggests that effective WFH arrangements relate to higher levels of job satisfaction and objective performance, as well as lower turnover intent and role stress.[1] However, these factors may be strongest for limited levels of telecommuting. Moreover, where work is highly interdependent, WFH may reduce productivity.[2]  WFH’s general effectiveness is dependent on several factors, especially trust with one’s manager, available work equipment and environment, and one’s personal preferences.

Because of our commitment to a team approach and the interdependent nature of our work, Mission has invested significantly in maintaining the office as a comfortable and effective work environment, providing its employees with a desktop, two monitors, work phone, relatively spacious workspaces, and needed work supplies.  

To accommodate both the evidence of WFH’s benefits and Mission’s team-oriented and deadline-bound work, Mission therefore offers limited WFH to its employees as a privilege, of which may be taken advantage when the policy’s restrictions are met. Employees who meet these requirements may work remotely on designated days, without needing specific supervisor approval or justification based on commute or other barriers.

“WORK-FROM-HOME FRIDAY” POLICY

Company-wide, Mission has introduced a policy of “Work-from-Home Friday,” which takes place roughly every other Friday or about once a pay period. This represents approximately 10% of an employee’s non-fringe hours. Approved days will be marked in advance on the main calendar in the office near the office administrator’s desk. A schedule of Work-from-Home Fridays is also available for the current year.

For all employees, the WFH arrangement is considered a privilege. New employees must work one month before earning this privilege and taking advantage of WFH.

WFH Instructions:

If you wish to take advantage of this privilege, you must:

  1. Have worked at Mission for at least one month.

  2. Alert your supervisor prior to a WFH day (including Work-from-Home Friday).

  3. Be certain that you will work in a suitable work environment (see definition above).

  4. Update your location on Skype for Business as “WFH” and provide your cell phone number, in case others need to reach you. If you plan to work different hours than on a typical workday, list your planned work hours on Skype.

  5. Be available on Skype for Business during all expected work hours. Any period longer than 15 minutes, during which you are not available on Skype, should be considered non-work hours and a message should be noted on Skype of your expected return time.

  6. Have a strategy to monitor work calls. Two options include ensuring that you receive voicemail by email or forwarding your work number to your cell.

  7. Understand that all hours entered onto your timesheet are a testament to your working during all those hours.

It is recommended to schedule doctors’ and other personal appointments during Work-from-Home Fridays. Such appointments are never to be billed as work hours, but working from home may help reduce your time to get to and from these appointments. If you are unable to schedule these appointments on Fridays, you may be able to switch your WFH day to another day of the week. But your supervisor must be aware of and approve this.

You cannot switch your Work-from-Home Friday to another day of the week to accommodate any paid- or unpaid-time-off used on that Friday. For example, if you take a vacation from Friday to Sunday, you would not work from home the previous Thursday or following Monday.

To monitor productivity of those who use WFH, supervisors may request a list or summary email of your completed tasks during a WFH day. They may also request work updates more frequently than on a regular work day.

Limitations for Work-from-Home Friday:

  • Work-from-Home Friday will only take place once roughly every two weeks.

  • Work-from-Home Friday cannot be switched to a different day to accommodate any vacations (paid- or unpaid-time-off) one might take on a Friday.

  • Work-from-Home Friday will only be available to employees who have worked at Mission for more than one month.

  • Work-from-Home Friday will not take place on the same week as any holiday or the Friday before any long holiday weekend. Instead, it will typically be postponed to the following week.

  • Work-from-Home Friday is not available for the office administrator position

Possible Exceptions to WFH Limitations:

  • In some situations, when an employee is not able to work eight hours in the office, they may be able to use WFH to make up the other hours. Your supervisor must be aware of and approve this.

  • Other special circumstances may present an acceptable exception, but your supervisor must e aware of and approve this.

[1] Gajendran, R.S. & Harrison, D.A. “The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown About Telecommuting: Meta-Analysis of Psychological Mediators and Individual Consequences.” Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, no 6 (2007): 1524-1541.

[2] Allen, T.D., Golden, T.D. and Shockley, K.M. “How Effective is Telecommuting? Assessing the Status of Our Scientific Findings.” Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16, no 2 (2015): 40-68.