How to Onboard Remote Employees – A Complete Checklist

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If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve already gone through the first couple stages of hiring a new remote employee. If not, be sure to check out our article “Hiring New Employees: How to Recruit the Best Talent.” We talk about which traits to look for in remote employees and how to get the most out of the interview process.

If you’ve already picked the ideal candidate to be your next remote employee, keep reading. This article is designed to help your new recruit transition into your company as seamlessly as possible. As a bonus, we’ve also created a FREE, downloadable checklist for onboarding remote employees. Get yours today to make sure you have everything you need for a successful onboarding process.

Let’s start now!

Onboarding Remote Employees

The key to a successful onboarding plan is to set clear expectations and boundaries. Every fully remote company has its own set of values and policies. Make sure you are incredibly transparent about yours when onboarding a new hire.

A good way to do this is to write up a detailed onboarding checklist with all the information your new hire will need to transition into the company smoothly. Here are some key points to discuss:

1. Work schedules

Be clear about specific time blocks during which your remote employees must be online and available. Some companies don’t care when their remote employees work, as long as they deliver quality work on time.

Others have less flexible policies when it comes to defined work hours. This is especially true for remote companies that rely on collaborative team efforts and constant communication.

To avoid any misunderstandings with new hires, make sure to communicate your company’s work from home policies off the bat.

2. Time zones

When discussing expectations concerning work hours, it’s easy to overlook time zones. As an employer, make sure new hires have a solid understanding of where in the world their coworkers are located.

hiring remote employees

This will eliminate any confusion or frustration when it comes to team collaboration, task management and availability.

Consider providing a team map or cheat sheet that lists each employee’s time zone and availability.

Another great tip is to create a shared or public calendar to display employee availability to everyone. Trust me, it makes scheduling meetings so much easier.

3. Communication agreements

Many fully remote companies use multiple different platforms for communication and task management. During the onboarding process, make sure new remote employees understand which forms of communication require an immediate response, and which ones are less urgent.

how to onboard remote employees
Example of a remote company’s “communication agreement”

The photo to the left is an example of a communication agreement. It lists various forms of communication platforms used within a company and the corresponding levels of urgency.

This agreement clearly states that any messages sent within the Slack platform should be responded to immediately, and so on. Simple, clear, and concise.

4. Video chat and record meetings

To reduce any chance of miscommunication or misunderstandings during the onboarding process, use video chat and record conversations whenever possible.

Communicating “face-to-face” with your new remote employee will help the onboarding process feel a lot more natural. Simulating in-person interaction is key for making new hires feel comfortable in a new job, welcomed and part of the team. For the best user experience, convenience and ease of use, Remo is the perfect tool for this. See it in action below:

hiring remote employees

Recording the onboarding process can also be very useful for new remote employees, especially when it comes to training and protocols. Useloom is a great web-based tool that allows users to record meetings and screen share. What makes it so great is the fact that it’s cloud-based. Any video can be saved and stored on your user page without taking up space on your computer.

5. Productivity and task management tools

Have a list of the core tools and apps integral to the functions of your company. It’s best to decide which tools your new remote employee will need before onboarding. This way, your new hire will be set up and ready to go the minute they start working.

6. The “buddy” system

The buddy system is an incredibly effective tool for any onboarding plan, especially in the long-term. Make sure your remote workers feel supported at all times to ensure good employee retention rate.

remote employees

Here’s how it works:

When onboarding a new hire, designate another one of your remote employees as a “buddy.” Ideally, the buddy will be someone who has been with the company for a good amount of time already.

With the buddy system, new hires will have a peer acquaintance who can show them the ropes, answer their questions and help them get to know the team. It’s an easy way to make new hires feel comfortable and part of the team very quickly.

7. Frequent check-ins

Joining a new company can be intimidating, especially if your new remote employee is entering unfamiliar space. Check in often (biweekly or weekly) with your new hire to see how they’re doing. Frequent check-ins will help new employees feel supported and keep them from feeling overwhelmed.

8. 90-day roadmap

When onboarding a remote employee, it’s good to set clear goals to keep new hires from feeling lost or overwhelmed.

90-day roadmap

A 90-day roadmap plan is a great way to keep new hires feeling engaged and productive while working toward a clear and defined objective. You may format the roadmap any way you like, it just needs to have a list of actionable tasks that the new hire can complete within those 90 days.

The roadmap approach also allows an employer to give recognition to a new hire early in the onboarding stage. This gives new hires a space to shine succeed early on, which has been known to boost confidence and improve longevity with the company.

Over to you

Now that you have a plan for successfully onboarding new remote employees, start the process with Remo! After all, executing a smooth onboarding plan is only possible if you have the right tools. Remo makes it easy for remote teams to have natural, real-time interaction whenever they want.

Interested in learning more? Bring your remote team into the Remo space today and try it out for yourself. Right now we’re offering a FREE 7-day trial, so don’t miss out on this limited opportunity! Click the button below to see how we can help make the onboarding process easy. For more information about us and how the product works, visit the about us page here.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve also created a FREE, downloadable checklist for onboarding remote employees. Get all the information from this article, PLUS all the necessary paperwork and protocols specific to remote companies. Just click here and enter your information!

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