Remote work is not an entirely new concept in employment law; rather, technological advances of the past several decades led to an increased number of companies offering remote work options. Employers offering remote work likely benefit from overhead savings, while remote employees generally appreciate no commute, increased job satisfaction, flexibility, and, in many cases, increased productivity. The COVID-19 pandemic (and related shelter-in-place orders) caused additional employers to explore and quickly implement remote work options for their workforce. Gallop reported as of August 31, 2020, one in four U.S. workers work entirely from home, while up to 49 percent report working remotely at some point during their careers. Some might view remote work as a temporary solution, but it appears just as likely that remote work remains a viable and preferable option for employers moving forward. Regardless, employers should remember the following general, non-exhaustive best practices (and avoid the cautionary tale situations).
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