What if my new hire wants to work from home but I need to train them in the office?

Working arrangements with new hires will be agreed on by the new employee and their manager during the recruitment, offer, and onboarding process as described in TPD’s Telecommuting and Remote Work Policy.  It should be clearly determined if the employee is being classified as a remote employee or an office employee.  If the employee is classified as an office employee, then their primary office needs to be clearly identified as well. After that, the employee’s travel time and expenses are evaluated for potential reimbursement as described in TPD’s Travel Time and Expenses policy in the TPD Employee Handbook. Office employees can telecommute as described in the Telecommuting and Remote Work Policy. We expect TPD managers to make sound decisions in determining the telecommuting schedule for a new employee.  The following should be kept in mind:

  • TPD recognizes that for new employees requiring training, working remotely or telecommuting a large percentage of the time is likely not the best option.  The training itself may be less effective, and the employee misses out on other less tangible benefits of working in an office, such as forming relationships with other team and office members. 
  • Requiring an employee to travel to an office for training implies that the employee’s manager and/or other designated training staff will be in that office that day.
  • Consider whether working in another (possibly closer) TPD office may make sense for that employee.  This may be a better training situation than the employee working from home.  Consider this when designating a primary office for the employee.
  • Telecommuting and remote work are privileges that TPD employees earn and maintain by demonstrating their production from home is as efficient as work done in the office.  Effective telecommuting and remote work require a bond of trust between the employee and TPD, that the employee, outside the observation of any other TPD employee, is not violating that trust and abusing their privileges. A drop-off in productivity while telecommuting may be addressed by requiring the employee to work more from a TPD office.