6 Tips for Onboarding Remote Employees Efficiently

As more companies offer remote jobs, onboarding remote employees has become a priority. To get employees set up and ready to go quickly, check out these six virtual onboarding tips.

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By the Offsyte Team, April 27, 2022

Remote work is now more common than ever. Eighty-three percent of employers say the pandemic-induced shift to work-from-home was successful for their company, according to a survey by PwC. As more companies offer remote jobs, onboarding remote employees has become a priority.

How do you set up a virtual employee for success? How do you create a digital work culture? What does a virtual employee need to start - and stay - on task? To answer these questions and more, here are six tips to onboard remote employees efficiently.

Tips for onboarding remote employees

  1. Provide a list of resources when the employee is hired
  2. Send a welcome box
  3. Host a team building event
  4. Set up a meeting with IT
  5. Provide work documents (Employee handbook, insurance options, 401K information)
  6. Set goals and regular check-ins

Provide a list of resources when the employee is hired

Once you hire a new employee, immediately send him or her an email with useful company resources. The email should include a friendly welcome, with links to the company website, social channels, light-hearted videos that show the company culture, or an infographic that offers tips to work from home.

Keep the heavier stuff, like the employee handbook and insurance forms, for later.

To make things easier, you can create a templated welcome email that’s used to welcome each new employee.

Send a welcome box

When you’re onboarding remote employees, it can be hard to create a sense of community. Without an office, there aren’t opportunities for watercooler talk or grabbing a drink after work. As a result, you need to think of creative ways to engage employees, like sending a welcome box. The box could include some company swag and a handwritten welcome note from the employee’s supervisor.

Boxed, an online wholesale retailer, sends these welcome kits to their new employees.

Host a team building event

When you bring on new employees, it’s a great time to host a virtual team building event. These events can build an office culture, without the office. You can gather the team for a Succulent Planting Event or take a lunch-time cooking class and make a Margarita Pizza and a Chef Salad together. You can even host a virtual happy hour after work. It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere offers drink-related competitions for employees.

Many of these events, which you can easily schedule with Offsyte, include a pre-shipped kit that’s delivered to each employee’s home. When it’s time for the event, employees simply click a Zoom link, open their boxes, and the class leader explains how to use the boxed items.

Set up meeting with IT

Remote employees function through a combination of hardware and software. If you need to ship any equipment to the employee, do so immediately.

An IT meeting should be set for an employee’s first day or two. The meeting should help the employee set up a virtual workstation, which should include setting up a company email address, creating login credentials for popular remote software, like Slack, Zoom, Google Suite, or

The meeting should also include a walk-through of each software, so the employee knows how and when to use each one.

Provide work documents

With an employee online, it’s time to break out the official work documents. Usually, HR has a packet of information for employees, which includes the employee handbook, information on health benefits, tax forms, paperwork to set up direct deposit for paychecks, and retirement fund information.

All of these documents should be in one place so they can be easily given to employees as they join the company.

Human Resources should set up a meeting with the new employee too, to walk them through the more complex documents.

Set goals and schedule regular check-ins

Onboarding remote employees should also include setting clear goals for the employee to meet. Employees need to understand how to succeed within the company and what’s expected of them.

Supervisors should provide a series of milestones for employees and schedule virtual meetings, especially for the first month or two, to help answer questions as employees work through specific tasks.

You might also decide to assign employees a mentor. The mentor, who can help with questions related to the company culture, protocols, or the hierarchy of the business, can also set up virtual meetings to offer support.

With these six tips, you can create a repeatable onboarding process for remote employees.

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