If your company is like so many these days, you have some or most of your teams working remotely. Remote work is here for good, and with it comes a host of business-bottom-line benefits. Your employees love the flexibility and continue to be productive. In addition, technology makes it easy to share digitally and connect virtually to maintain performance. But what about the ethics side of things? Since everyone’s working from home, do you really need an ethics hotline?
The experts say yes. And today, we’ll outline a few critical reasons you still need an ethics hotline. For some business models, it might even be more important now than ever before.
1. Remote Work Doesn’t Mean People Can’t Violate Policy
Just because your employees are signing in from the comfort of their own homes doesn’t mean they can’t still be capable of violating policies. And connecting virtually with video conferencing means there are still opportunities for individuals to harass or intimidate others, a reportable offense. Sure, it’s less likely that there will be a physical theft of company property with remote workers. But employees can still steal digital information. So any violation of company harassment or safety policies will still need to be reported. And it’s the ethics hotline that makes such reporting easier, especially when everyone is working remotely.
2. There Is a Lower Awareness of Reporting Channels
With a remote work scenario in place, your employees may not have access to managers, leadership, or in-person conversations like before. And in these scenarios, your teams may not know where to go to report violations. Having an ethics hotline in place means taking the guesswork out of a “speak up” company culture. Your staff members will always have a dedicated channel for reporting unsafe or unsavory behavior, even with remote work distancing.
3. Increased Opportunity for Employee Missteps
In some business models, there is less transparency and oversight because of remote work. And for most companies, the employees continue to perform well and achieve objectives. However, there are blind spots in your workforce that didn’t exist before. For example, could someone be using digital resources to claim working time, reimbursements, or expenses that aren’t valid? Did someone inadvertently share incriminating information on a Zoom call? These situations only happen in a remote work environment. And having an ethics hotline means offering a resource for reporting when these instances are observed.
4 The Ethics Hotline Is the Perfect Remote Work Reporting Tool
Before you dismantle your ethics hotline or decide you don’t need one because your teams are working remotely, think again. The ethics hotline, with its 24/7 availability and anonymous reporting benefits, is ideal for any workplace model. It’s a stand-alone channel, operating as an added layer of compliance protection for your company. It empowers employees, remote or otherwise, to report bad behavior when they encounter it. When you think about its countless applications and benefits, the ethics hotline is the perfect all-around reporting tool.
If you need additional reasons to support why you still need an ethics hotline, even with remote work environments, contact us. Ethical Advocate can walk you through all the necessary steps you should be taking, regardless of employee type, to protect your company’s ongoing compliance.