Remote work - who can do it and on what terms?

Service Business

A few years ago, remote work was not so popular and it mainly concerned freelancers and self-employed people. Currently, remote work via the Internet in Poland is performed by 6% of employees - according to a World Bank report. Until now, employees and managers have not been keen on this form of work, however, the Y generation is entering the market, which care much more about flexibility than their older colleagues. Let's look at the advantages of teleworking and the risks that may arise from its popularization.

What is teleworking and what are its characteristics?

Teleworking is regulated by the Labor Code. It consists in the fact that an employee who has an employment relationship with an employer can systematically perform his duties outside the workplace, using information technology.

Teleworking has a number of benefits. First of all, flexibility, the manifestations of which can be seen in the possibility of reconciling work and family life. The rules of organization and duration of remote work enable the activation of people who perform family duties, are disabled, combine study with work, or live away from the company's headquarters.

Remote work should be characterized (just like in any classic employment relationship) by its paid nature and by personal performance of a specific type of work for the employer and under his direction.

In addition, this type of employment is related to the regular performance by the employee of employee duties outside the workplace, using electronic means of communication. Such measures should be understood as technical solutions, including ICT devices and software tools cooperating with them, which enable individual communication at a distance using data transmission between ICT systems, in particular e-mail.

Who can become a teleworker?

All decisions on the performance of remote work should be made at the stage of entering into an employment relationship or during its duration. The employee himself can take the initiative to start working in the form of telework. The employer also has this right. These arrangements should include: type of work, place of work, remuneration for work, working time, date of commencement of work, conditions for performing work with the use of electronic communication means.

It should be borne in mind that the employer's decision does not always have to be positive. This is largely due to the nature of the tasks performed and the possibility of performing them outside the workplace.

Remote work - can you refuse this form of employment?

It is possible to stop teleworking and return the employee to the classic employment relationship. Both the employee and the employer may exercise this right.

The application for changing the performance system is binding if it is submitted within 3 months from the date of starting work in the form of telework.

In such a situation, the parties are obliged to establish a date from which the previous conditions of work performance will be restored. This deadline may not be longer than 30 days from the date of receipt of the application.

If an application for a change in working conditions is submitted after the 3-month period, the employer may change the form of work through a notice that changes the working conditions. As a result, you may submit an offer to perform work on conditions worse than before.

What advantages and disadvantages does remote work have?

Just like any form of employment, remote work has its advantages and disadvantages. The most important benefits of teleworking include:

  • flexibility - most often it is the flexible nature of work that convinces the employee to take up this form of work. The work can be done at home, outdoors or in any place. Some even decide to work while traveling (also abroad).

  • more time - thanks to telework we can save a lot of valuable time. Working from home, we do not have to travel to the company's headquarters every day, which often takes us several hours. Thanks to this, we can spend the time we used to spend in a traffic jam or bus on reading a book or walking with the family.

  • comfort of work - we decide what our workplace and character look like. Nobody looks at our hands and comments on what we do. We can carry out our duties in peace and quiet and focus more on the tasks.

In addition to the many advantages associated with remote work, you should also take into account the disadvantages and risks associated with it:

  • no contact with people - working from home, we most often communicate with other employees via e-mail or Skype, which is why our contact is very limited. We do not have the opportunity to talk to someone or eat a meal together, which in the long run may weaken relationships with colleagues.

  • problem with motivation - sometimes you need to be highly motivated not to do things that are not related to work. At home or anywhere else, there are many things that can draw our attention and distract us from our current tasks.

  • lack of active life in the company - not being physically at the company's headquarters, we miss many things that are happening there, so we do not participate in most of the activities. It is also harder for us to learn new things and develop our skills.

Remote work, although it is becoming more and more popular among young people, is not always the best solution. For new mothers or people with disabilities, it is often the only solution to take up employment. When only entering the labor market, a better solution seems to be the traditional form of work, thanks to which we can acquire new skills and expand our knowledge, learning from more experienced colleagues.