The New Normal: A Guide to Onboarding Remote Employees

In February 2020, there were about 4.7 million people working entirely from home, but now there are even more doing so.

As working from home continues to become the new normal, you might be at a point where you are trying to hire new people as well.

However, onboarding remote employees can present a whole new set of challenges. Read this article to learn more about how to overcome them!

Ensure All the Tech is Set Up

Since your new employees will be working completely remote, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that you have all the tech set up so that they can actually complete the onboarding process.

If they aren’t set up with the proper equipment or software to do their job, they’ll just spend the entire day dealing with IT issues, which will waste your time and theirs.

Figure out what day they’re supposed to start, and then a few days before and set everything up. You may want to test the equipment, software, and user profiles before the onboarding day arrives. 

Assign Them a Buddy

Onboarding is even harder when it’s all remote, which is why it’s even more important to assign the new employees a buddy.

This buddy will be someone that has been with your company for a while and can help answer any questions the new employers might have. They will be available solely to help the new employees, which means that HR and other managers won’t have to spend their day managing the onboarding process. 

Assigning a buddy can also help the new employees to make new friends and feel comfortable and accepted at their new job.

Make all the Admin Paperwork Available Electronically

Sending you remote working employees a huge stack of papers to sign and then requiring them to sign them, scan them, and send them back can be a hassle especially when they’re working remotely. 

However, you’ll still need to have them assign a lot of paperwork. To make this easy for them, you can invest in some electronic signatures and send documents as PDFs that they can read and sign. 

If you need help with sending the paperwork and verifying forms, check out

Give Them a Structured Checklist

One thing that will help their remote onboarding day is to give them a structured checklist or itinerary to let them know what to expect from their day. It can also give them some insight as to what you expect from them so that they can plan their day accordingly. 

When you are onboarding in the office, it is easy to see if your employees are bored, lost, or not sure of what to do. Having a calendar already set up will help to ease some of their anxiety and unease of wondering what they should be doing. 

You will probably have to set up some training sessions for them as well which can take up quite a bit of time. Set up meetings and reminders in Outlook so that they know what training to be in at what time. 

Create a Portal Specifically for Onboarding

When your new employees are in the office, it’s easy to do something fun and reserve a conference room to host any onboarding meetings.

For remote employees, this isn’t always as easy. to help keep everything organized and not bog your employees down with all kinds of sites to visit, you can create a portable which will be their one-stop for anything they need.

You can hold all the paperwork, training materials, and any communication about onboarding here. This is also a great place to put an employee handbook, contact information, templates, tips, or any other information that will make the employee’s first date easier. 

Introduce Them to Their Coworkers

In the office, it’s easy to walk the onboarding employees around and introduce them to their new coworkers. However, when everyone is at their own home, it can make things a little bit more logistically different. 

Instead, you could try holding a meeting with all the coworkers that they’ll mostly be working with. Whether it’s with Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you can schedule a quick meeting so that everyone can get introduced. This will also be another important thing you should add to their onboarding calendar. 

Show Them How to Use Communication Tools

Since everyone will be working in their own space, it’s even more important to know how to use all the communication tools to ensure that all coworkers can still complete their projects. 

There are all kinds of different messaging systems that your company could implement. 

Skype Business is a great way to see what people’s statuses are and if they’re available to talk. Some people like to use Microsoft Teams and others like to use Slack. 

If you use Slack, you can create a group specifically for employees who are new to the company where they can meet each other and ask any questions that they might have. 

Learn More About Onboarding Remote Employees

These are only a few tips on onboarding remote employees, but there are many more out there.

We know that bringing new employees on can be stressful for them and you! However, you don’t have to do it all on your own.

We’re here to help you out and provide more helpful tips. If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one!

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