How to Onboard Remote Employees

October 26, 2020
Desktop.com Team

This year, the amount of employees working from home has grown significantly due to COVID-19 and employees’ increasing needs for flexibility. If done correctly, having remote employees can increase productivity, save money and reduce turnover.

With that being said, transitioning to remote working can come with communication issues, distractions and of course a technology learning curve. Over the last 5 years the number of remote employees have increased by 44% and the positive results only imply that this number will continue to rise.


Moving an employee from in person to remote is one thing, but onboarding an employee remotely comes with many challenges. These challenges may seem daunting, but with proper execution remote onboarding can lead to new employees feeling valued and informed. Next time you onboard a remote employee, you can use the following tips to make sure you and the employee are set for success!

Already keen on how to onboard remotely? Check out our blog on Managing Remote Teams to learn a few tips and tricks to adjust to this new way of working and managing.  

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Introducing new hires to existing team members

In a traditional work environment the first day is usually filled with a tour of the office, an introduction lunch, and a general overview of everyone within the organization, but when onboarding remotely this is not the case. Throwing an employee into work without a proper introduction can be awkward for both parties, leaving the new employee feeling like an outsider from the very beginning.

To avoid this it is important to have a virtual meeting for the new employee and all current team members to introduce themselves and share about their work responsibilities and passions. This will help the new employee get a sense of the organization and start building connections from day one.

Setting up the necessary equipment remotely

In the world we live in with ever changing technology, there is always new equipment that needs to be purchased and installed. Since there is no IT department when working remotely this can create a learning curve with a new employee.

As an employer helping a new team member get set up properly is very important as it is a sure way to get them working faster and more efficiently. Be ready to field any questions and provide instructions for set-up, as well as any software installations.


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Communication

When remote, gone are the days of popping by someone's office to ask a quick question or simply get to know them, therefore, communication can be one of the largest challenges when onboarding a remote employee. Both sides will have lots of questions and it is important to have an open line of communication on a reliable platform to prevent any isolation or confusion.


Combating poor communication can be easy if everyone within a team is on the same page. It is helpful to use a common platform to provide feedback, ask questions, and have daily conversations to keep everyone feeling connected. Desktop.com offers many communication apps like Google Hangouts, Slack, and Microsoft Teams to keep communication easy and organized. The employee should be informed of what is expected of them in terms of schedule, goals, communication, and day-to-day telecommuting.


Enjoying our digital advice? Read our “10 Best Digital Life Hacks” and learn how to make tech work in your favor, all the time.

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Managing and signing digital HR paperwork

This challenge is very cut and dry: How do you complete the paperwork remotely? New employees are required to fill out many forms, from providing direct deposit details to completing Tax Forms like the W-4 or I-9.

Struggling to keep up with HR responsibilities while working from home? Check out this comprehensive list of HR resources to assist during COVID-19.

Luckily, digital forms are becoming very common and should be able to help you tackle this onboarding speed bump. Like all of these challenges, be prepared to answer questions as this task needs to be done correctly for everything to run smoothly.

Explaining company policies, procedures, and culture

Company culture is typically picked up by coming to an office each day and seeing how fellow co-workers behave, dress, and communicate with one another. Without this remote employees may not be able to gather what the company values leading to poor company culture.

When onboarding a remote employee, employers should make policy, procedures and culture very clear. New employees should receive proper training of these important factors to reduce misunderstandings and tension between employees.

Although onboarding remote employees comes with its challenges, it will be a worthwhile investment. With proper planning, training and clear communication it can make for a healthy and productive work relationship and a strong company culture.

So you have your remote employees onboarded! Now how can you make sure you are headed towards success for your organization? Check out our blog on Managing Remote Teams to learn tips and tricks to adjust to this new way of working. --https://www.desktop.com/article/how-to-effectively-manage-and-support-your-remote-team 

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