Onboarding Remote Employees Checklist

If you’re like most company owners or managers, most, and possibly even all of your employees are working from home right now. If you find yourself needing to add staff, the odds are excellent that they too, will wind up being a remote employee, at least for the foreseeable future.

Hiring new people and setting them up for success from day one can be a daunting proposition even when everyone is at the office and you’ve got the full suite of your usual tools available to you. Doing so for a newly hired remote employee can be even more of a challenge.

Challenging or not though, that’s the current reality, and if you’re looking for some ways to help ensure a smooth onboarding process, you may find the short checklist below to be invaluable.

Set Exacting Work Schedule Expectations
When employees come into the office, they punch a clock one way or another, either by punching an actual clock, logging into some sort of time tracking system that your company employs, or other means.
Things aren’t so straightforward when it comes to tracking remote employees, so the first thing you want to do is to establish clear parameters that define when your new hire needs to be logged in and available.

If you don’t have any hard and fast rules about specific hours and your main focus is on deliverables, then make that clear at the outset so there aren’t any misunderstandings going forward.

One very important detail to mention here is the notion of time zones! It’s entirely possible that your new hire is in a different time zone than you are, so be sure to factor that into your thinking and into any conversations you have with your new remote employee.

Make Sure The New Hire Understands Your Communications Protocols
Odds are good that your company uses several different communications tools over the course of a given workday.

This could include email, voice or Facetime chats, and Skype or a similar messaging solution.

Not all of these tools are created equally, however, and you may use them for very different reasons in your company. Unfortunately, none of that is immediately obvious to a new hire, so for example, if your experienced employees know that you expect an immediate response from a Skype ping, but if you send something via email, you’re fine with a 1-2 hour delay, be sure your new hire is aware of those details as well. Otherwise, you’ll create a situation where your new employee feels like he or she is navigating a minefield while wearing a blindfold. Not good.

Provide A Comprehensive List
You’ve probably got a number of tools that you and your seasoned employees use on a regular basis to make life easier and make work more effective and efficient.

Again though, that’s something that a new hire will have absolutely no knowledge of, so be sure to provide a list of the most commonly used tools and apps at your organization so your new employee can get them and gain familiarity with them from day one.

Finally, The Buddy System…
The last thing you want to make sure you’re doing when bringing on a new remote employee is to pair the new hire up with an experienced employee. This named individual will be their go-to contact in terms of answering questions on the fly, which can save everybody time and frustration.

While no one can promise that bringing on a new remote employee will be absolutely seamless, if you follow the tips above, you’ll avoid most of the common sources of difficulty and frustration, and that’s a very good thing.