WILLMAR – Kandiyohi County’s first-ever remote work policy is on the agenda when the county commissioners’ council meets in the health and social services building on Tuesday.
If approved, it would allow some employees to work from home provided they have the approval of their immediate superiors. A remote work option would be considered a privilege. Employees working from home would be required to visit the office site every week.
The county does not have a policy for remote working. The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for some employees to work remotely have shown that there can be benefits for employees as well as the employer, according to County Administrator Larry Kleindl. He said the county was considering the option of remote working as a tool to be used where appropriate.
The county’s work is very service-oriented and most positions involve face-to-face contact with citizens and clients. Therefore, Kleindl said most employees will not be able to work remotely.
The administrator said employees who work remotely will need to remain available to come in as needed to see customers.
The county’s intention is to start slowly and build from there, he added.
Like other employers, the county faces a tight labor market. The administrator said the labor shortage is made evident by the drop in the number of successful candidates for open positions. A remote work policy can benefit the county by recruiting workers for positions where interaction with the public is limited.
Other cases submitted to county council on Tuesday include an agreement and a request for US bailout funding for the town of Prinsburg to make a broadband project possible; an agreement to improve a control structure for Timber Lake; a grant agreement for a two-year victim services program; and an appointment to the board of directors of Southwest Emergency Management Services.
The regular council meeting begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The Board of Directors meets at 9 a.m. as a Human Services Committee. Both meetings are held in the boardroom of the HHS building, 2200 23rd St. NE, Willmar.