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What is a Remote Work Agreement?

A remote work agreement is a contract between a remote worker and their employer or organization to define their responsibilities and commitments. This agreement may be drawn up at the start of an employment arrangement where the employee works remotely under the company's remote work policy.

A remote work agreement outlines critical details such as work schedule and hours, collaboration tools, processes and workflows, information security, and employee support. Every remote working agreement must contain relevant sections that adequately cover the employees' remote work needs and what is expected of them. Some of the essential sections include the following.

Essential sections of a remote work agreement

The sections below capture the five most vital sections to include in a remote work agreement. 

  1. Work arrangement
    The work arrangement section covers the type of work to be done, workflows and collaboration processes, core work hours, mandatory meetings, metrics for measuring employee performance, and other important remote work arrangement details.

  2. Compensation and benefits
    The compensation and benefits section covers details about a remote employee's pay and entitlements. How much is their monthly salary? When and how do employees receive it? Are there other employment benefits for remote employees? This section may also include subsections for overtime guidelines, a timeline for contract renegotiation or renewal, taxes, and insurance.

  3. Computer equipment and software
    Most remote work agreements have a section covering computer equipment, software programs, communication, collaboration, project management, and other relevant tools and applications for secure and efficient remote work with the employer or organization. Does the employee use the company device or a personal device while working remotely? How can they access their work email remotely? Are remote employees allowed to seek technical support?

  4. Telephone and internet connectivity
    Depending on the role, a telephone number may be necessary for a remote employee to get work done. Internet connectivity is an unavoidable expense for most remote employees to handle work, communicate, and collaborate within the team. It’s also essential when it comes to attending virtual meetings.

  5. Travel and other expense reimbursements
    Remote work agreements can also cover travel expenses as well. This section includes employee expenses incurred traveling to and from meetings with clients, on-site visits, and other necessary miscellaneous expenses. The reimbursement section outlines the process of requesting and receiving funds spent from the employer or organization. 

A remote work agreement may seem like a big deal if you've never prepared one before. These five sections are essential sections to include. You may further include sections on taxes, office furniture and supplies, insurance, data security, safety and liability, and dependant care.