AvaCon Work From Home Policies

The following policies apply to all AvaCon employees who work from home:

Safe Working Conditions


In order to work remotely, you must be able to provide a work location that is:

  • Located in a safe, clean, controlled environment that is free of hazardous materials or conditions.
  • The work space must be free of distractions that could interfere with work.
  • The work space must be well-lit and well ventilated, large enough to comfortably accommodate you and any equipment you will be using, and free of clutter and physical obstructions.
  • The work space must have enough electrical outlets to safely power all of the equipment needed to work, and all wires and electrical cords must be kept secured and out of the way.
  • Your computer desk, chair, monitor, and other workspace arrangements must be ergonomically sound and correct in order to minimize repetitive stress and other injuries associated with working at a computer. Review the Evaluating your computer workstation: How to make it work for you OSHA publication to evaluate your computer workstation for compliance.

If an employee incurs a work-related injury while working in their Designated Remote Work Location, worker’s compensation laws and rules apply. Employees must notify their supervisors immediately and complete all necessary and/or management requested documents regarding the injury.

Failure to maintain a home office or Designated Remote Work Location that is safe, clean, ergonomically sound, free from clutter, physical obstructions, distractions, and hazardous materials and conditions, as determined by management, is cause for termination.

Secure Working Conditions


In addition to providing a safe and clean work environment, your remote work location and equipment must also be secure.

It is your responsibility to ensure that equipment, computers, electronic files, online computer systems, mobile or cell phones, laptops, tablets, fax machines, or any other devices that you use to access secure or confidential AvaCon information are secured physically from access by other parties and are password protected. Whenever possible, AvaCon recommends 2-factor authentication for computer passwords.

While working remotely, all applicable AvaCon policies and procedures related to computer and network security are in force, regardless of where the work takes place or on which device you are using, including mobile/cell phones and tablet devices.

Employee-Owned Equipment


The employee is responsible for maintaining and repairing employee owned equipment at personal expense and on personal time. This includes consumable items such as paper, ink, ink cartridges, toner, and other basic office supplies, unless other arrangements are made with AvaCon. AvaCon accepts no responsibility for damage, repairs, or maintenance costs for employee-owned equipment. The employee is also responsible for all utility, data, and internet access costs associated with the use of computers and equipment or occupation of the home or Designated Remote Work Location.

AvaCon is responsible for maintaining, repairing and replacing AvaCon-owned equipment if equipment is issued to work from a Designated Remote Work Location. AvaCon-owned equipment may only be used by the employee, and only for business purposes. Upon termination of employment, all AvaCon-owned equipment or property must be promptly returned to AvaCon, unless other arrangements have been made in writing.

In the event of equipment malfunction of employee-owned or AvaCon-owned equipment, the employee must notify his/her supervisor immediately. If repairs will take some time, AvaCon will discuss alternative means to continue the employee’s work until the equipment is usable.

Schedules & Work Hours


AvaCon strives to provide employees with as much flexibility and accommodation as possible regarding work schedules, however, we must comply with all federal and state labor laws.

Employees who are not exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act will be required to record all hours worked using the Time Reporting form. Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per work week, in accordance with state and federal requirements, will require the advance approval of the employee’s supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Travel Time


Travel to and from the Designated Remote Work Location will not be considered work time unless the employee is traveling to or from a specific location required for work, such as a meeting or travel to/from an airport for a work function, and the travel has been approved in writing by the employee’s supervisor.

Rest & Meal Breaks


It is important to take short breaks when working at a computer for extended periods of time for health and safety reasons, even when you are working from home.

  • Employees should take a short 3 to 5 minute break after each hour of intense computer work to get up and stretch, and rest one’s eyes from the computer screen.
  • Employees should take a longer 10 to 15 minute break after every two hours of moderate computer work to get up and stretch, and rest one’s eyes from the computer screen.

Review the Evaluating your computer workstation: How to make it work for you OSHA publication, Chapter 3, for suggested stretching exercises that can help relieve muscle tension and eyestrain.

In addition, all employees should take a 30 minute meal break after 5 hours of work. If the work day will be greater than 10 hours in length, employees should take a second 30 minute meal break. Meal breaks can be waived at the employee’s discretion, but AvaCon encourages all employees to take rest and meal breaks throughout the day to improve health and productivity.

Other Health & Safety Risks of Working From Home


Two researchers from Liberty Mutual Insurance Research Institute for Safety have identified the following additional safety and health risks for telecommuting employees:

  • Physical and psychological stress from the longer work hours that telecommuters tend to keep;
  • Physical and psychological stress from inadequate break and recovery times;
  • Psychological stress from isolation, limited social support, time pressures, and high work loads;
  • Psychological stress due to inadequate support for the technologies necessary to complete job-specific duties.


AvaCon strives to provide all employees with adequate training, social support, break times, and other support to ensure that working remotely is a safe, healthy, and positive experience. By choosing to work at AvaCon, you acknowledge and accept these risks, and agree to contact your supervisor immediately with any questions or concerns about your health or safety while working remotely for AvaCon.

Designated Remote Work Location

AvaCon employees are responsible for setting aside a space in their home or other location where work for AvaCon will be performed and ensuring that it is ergonomically sound, clean, safe, and free of obstructions and hazardous materials. They must ensure that their homes or other work location complies with all building codes, zoning laws, and health and safety requirements. AvaCon will not be responsible for costs associated with initial setup of the employee’s home office such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space or any building code licenses or zoning licenses that may be required in the employee’s jurisdiction.

Unless approved in writing by a supervisor, remote work for AvaCon may only take place in an approved Designated Remote Work Location.

 

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