Starting a full-time job at home: An employee’s perspective

Starting a new opportunity can feel overwhelming, especially when entering the remote workforce for the first time. If your professional experience has been primarily in-office, then your remote onboarding process must teach you how to connect with your team and navigate communication challenges.

Here are a few things I experienced during my training that ensured my success as a fully remote employee:

  • Taking time to build relationships. New team members need exposure to all the departments in their organization to feel adequately connected. Setting new hires up to meet with department leaders will give them insight about how every piece of the company functions together and will help them create long-lasting connections with their coworkers. Scheduling recurring meetings between entire departments is another way to ensure employees stay connected and know how to work with one another during future collaboration. Also, be sure to schedule one-on-one meetings between management and new team members to give them full attention and let them ask any questions about their role or current projects. Knowing people on a first-name basis will help new employees feel like a part of the community.
  • Staying available during independent training. Some employees thrive in an independent environment, but new hires should always have the option to call on a manager or coworker when needed. Utilize screen sharing as a remote version of “hands-on” learning. This can be something as simple as demonstrating a daily task or even a necessary feature on a Zoom meeting. If your team uses digital platforms, schedule time for your new team member to complete training videos and obtain certifications while you’re available to answer questions. This will help them understand the functionality of the different platforms while reinforcing their ability to “phone-a-friend” at any time. Most importantly, let the rest of your team know when a new employee finishes one of these training sessions so everyone can congratulate them!
  • Finding a workflow program that keeps your team connected. Without the camaraderie that comes with working side by side in the office, it’s essential to manage projects in a way that makes remote employees feel they’re effectively collaborating with their team. Luckily, there are a myriad of online workflow platforms designed to keep your team organized, track projects and let them communicate easily and frequently. Find a platform that makes sense for your team and use it as the gold standard for project collaboration. Having a central landing pad for questions and ideas helps alleviate the distance between remote employees.

As organizations around the world continue to implement remote and hybrid work models, I hope these tips help your organization develop a robust remote onboarding program. For more advice on managing a remote workforce, check out our article on developing junior team members online.