Why Your Mobile Working Policy Is Probably Overkill
by jessicastillman

The VP of People at SimplyHired explains why, for most knowledge economy companies, simple common sense beats a detailed mobile working policy.

Google “mobile working policy” and you”ll get plenty of examples of detailed instructions on the when, where and how of mobile working. So does your organization need to specify exactly what constitutes sound mobile working practice for employees?

Not really, answers one HR executive. In an interview Carolyn Hughes, VP of People (read: HR) at job search firm Simply Hired, explained that for many businesses, less is more when it comes to a mobile working policy.

“We take the approach of a results-based type environment,” says Hughes. “Our policy on mobile working is that there is no policy.” Great work is required, but everything else, pretty much, is up to individual leaders. “We manage expectations pretty high as to output level. How each manager tackles that with regard to geography, office time, etc. is completely their responsibility.”

The case for policy minimalism

What”s the thinking behind this policy minimalism? According to Hughes, no matter how detailed your mobile working policy, decisions about what”s appropriate in individual situations usually come down to judgment, making writing the policy in the first place largely a waste of time. “You ultimately have to say, how much time, money and effort are we spending on trying to over-manage this thing, versus what risk we would really be taking by relying more on judgment,” says Hughes.

Hughes also points out that relying on judgment not only saves time, but also empowers managers and places the focus firmly on the quality of work – not compliance with rules. Plus, a judgment-based approach to mobile work can have recruiting benefits by giving hiring managers the flexibility to make offers regarding conditions to close the deal with top talent.

The caveats

Of course, a fluid approach to mobile working won”t suit every company. “If you”re on a production line, you have to show up to the production line,” Hughes says, but for knowledge workers there are fewer and fewer technological But doesn&#8217t that deposit become some &#8220outside&#8221 money sooner or later? When that deposit is created how can it not be either turned into cash notes or added to the depositor bank reserves? I suppose that school-delays.com could go buy an asset with that money, but then the recipient is in the same situation- cash it out, or add it too school-delays.com reserves. limitations.

“When you”re a knowledge-based worker and everything is web-based – all the shared documents, your email system, 8 months ago9 online casinos months agoMy high school diploma enables you to search detailed profiles of Australian schools simply by entering a schools name, suburb or postcode. all of the SaaS-based applications that are running various functions– you can access everything you need from anywhere, and the security is built into the applications more often than not. It”s a brave new world for people who do the majority of their work from a computer,” she says.

But even great tech and plenty of trust won”t eliminate problems entirely. You may not need an extensive mobile working policy, but you still need to monitor how employees are using, or abusing, that trust. “Sometimes common sense isn”t so common,” says Hughes, who suggests companies employ a progressive termination process, just like they would for any other workplace violation.

“You used bad judgment once, nothing”s going to happen. You do it again and it gets noted. You do it a third time and you could lose your job, because you”re not respecting the culture and exercising the judgment that it takes to be self-governing,” Hughes explains, though she notes that Simply Hired, like many American firms, is an at-will employer where employees can be fired (or leave) without formalities, meaning few concerns about legal disputes.

The bottom line: if your company isn”t highly regulated and the work doesn”t require employees to be constantly on site, chucking that multi-page mobile work policy in the bin and relying instead on high expectations, common sense and a large dollop of trust will probably boost morale and productivity.

Do you agree?

Photo credit: WhatDaveSees

Now it's time to make it the most productive and comfortable space you've ever worked in:

Where should I send your free sample chapter of
WorkSnug: Get better coworkers?