Tips for making the Transition go smoothly
Onboarding new remote team members can be difficult, but it’s even more challenging when you’re remote hiring. If you’re unsure how to make the smooth transition, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. This blog post will discuss some tips for the smooth onboarding of remote employees. By following these tips, you’ll be able to improve the virtual onboarding process, minimize the stress of starting a new job and ensure that your new remote employees feel comfortable and connected to your company from day one.
What is remote onboarding?
Remote onboarding can be defined as orienting and integrating new remote team members into the company culture and workflows without them having to be physically present in an office space from their start date or even before that. While this may seem daunting, implementing a remote onboarding process has several benefits. First, it allows you to reach a wider pool of talent, as you are no longer limited to those who live near your office. Second, it reduces costs associated with traditional onboarding processes or onboarding programs, such as travel and lodging expenses for new team members. And finally, it allows you to ease new employees into their roles at their own pace, without the pressure of performing in front of their colleagues on their first day. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder that more companies are looking for a remote onboarding experience to streamline their new hire integration process from day one and bring them up to speed.
Benefits of Remote Onboarding process
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased in the remote workforce and has become increasingly popular in recent years, but many companies are hesitant to onboard employees remotely. However, there are several benefits to remote employee onboarding that make it worth considering for any business.
Remote employees are more productive.
According to a Stanford University study, remote workers are 13% more productive than those who work in an office. Working from home allowed them to work “a genuine full-shift rather than being late to the office or departing early several times a week,” which resulted in them taking “shorter breaks, taking less time off and having fewer sick days.” Remote employees also tend to be less stressed, increasing productivity. This is because they have more control over their work environment and aren’t distracted by noise and other people in the office.
Remote employees are more engaged.
According to a study by Gallup, employees who work from home are 4% more engaged than those who work in an office. They also found that “the optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend three to four days working off-site.” This is likely since remote employees feel more in control of their work, feel welcome in the team, be part of the team even though they are not in-person or face to face a times and are also able to balance better their work and personal lives, which leads to increased job satisfaction.
Remote employees are more loyal.
Employees who work from home are less likely to leave their jobs, according to a study by FlexJobs. This is because they feel happier and more engaged with their work and appreciate the flexible working arrangements offered by their companies. Remote employees also tend to be more productive, stay with their companies longer than office employees, and improve employee retention rates.
Therefore, whether working from home is viable is less important than how to make it work for you.
Now that you know some of the benefits of remote onboarding let’s discuss how to do it successfully. Here are some practical remote onboarding checklists:
Remote onboarding basics:
Ensure you have an effective onboarding plan that ensures the new remote worker has all the tools and resources needed to do their job effectively. This includes a good internet connection, a reliable phone or computer, and adequate office space so they can hit the ground running from the first week or day one.
Assigning a Remote Onboarding Mentor:
Assign a mentor or buddy to the new employee who can help them acclimate to the company culture and values and answer any questions they have. Hiring managers can also enable remote employees to stay organized with one-on-one meetings and on track with their work goals.
Preparing the Remote Employee:
Remote employees should be prepared for a certain level of autonomy and responsibility. They should also be comfortable working independently without constant supervision. Before they start working remotely, ensure they are familiar with the company’s policies, employee handbook, and procedures and have the necessary tools and resources to do their job effectively.
Remote Onboarding Tools and Resources:
Remote employees should access company resources such as online training modules, policies, procedures manuals, and training sessions using platforms like LinkedIn Learning and similar tools. This will help them immediately familiarize themselves with your company’s culture and expectations.
Create a communication plan:
Remote employees must be provided with a communication plan that outlines how often the remote employee should check in with their manager and what type of communication is acceptable using company-approved communication tools (email, video chat, phone call, etc.). This will help ensure clear communication between the manager and employee and that neither one feels overwhelmed or ignored.
Microlearning is a fantastic technique to give training in brief, repeatable spurts. This strategy is ideal if you want learners interested but not overloaded with knowledge all at once. It provides learners control by allowing them to set particular objectives for each session.
While the information provided during onboarding is crucial, long presentations and a steady stream of new information can exhaust anyone. You can make your onboarding session more engaging for employees and help them remember the material by gamifying certain parts of it with quizzes and other games.
Because users listen or watch while studying specific videos or reading texts within predetermined time limitations, micro-lectures offer a setting where individuals will learn more quickly – exactly like how we currently consume web content. Use an internal learning software that will help cover all the fundamentals if you’re beginning with remote work or want to take your staff somewhere on-site or off-site for training on this issue or for happy hour (and what company doesn’t?).
Employ video conferencing tools
The most efficient way to record and transmit detailed information is through video. Since videos can be watched quickly, it has more of the essential visual signals that activate 250 milliseconds after they appear on the screen (and more than 50% faster than text). In addition, people utilize videos to learn new skills for hobbies like cooking and music composition; 87% of people use YouTube for this purpose, according to a 2021 report from The Office of Communications in the UK.
Organizations must ensure that all remote workers have access to video conferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams and the ability to make video calls for team meetings or any meetings.
A study was done by Ctrip, a Chinese travel operator with 16,000 employees, in which certain employees were randomly allocated to work from home. After nine months, they discovered that telecommuters had higher performance ratings (13%) and lower turnover rates than workers who worked in offices; also, they had more than $1000 in rent savings per person! Despite these successes, 49% of respondents said they would prefer not to continue working remotely, primarily due to loneliness. Let’s combat this by giving remote workers access to human contact via technologies like hangouts, Zoom, Skype, and other video-conference tools, which can help offset feelings of isolation when working for extended periods.
Common challenges with remote onboarding employees
One of the most common challenges with remote onboarding is that people don’t know how to manage and communicate with their remote employees properly. This can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and even resentment from the employee.
It’s essential to set clear expectations for the remote employee regarding communication, deadlines, and goals. You should also ensure they have all the necessary tools and resources to do their job effectively. And lastly, be sure to check in with them regularly to ensure they are still feeling comfortable and connected to your company.
Tips for Employees to make the Transition Smoothly
If this is the first time your workforce is all working remotely and for an indefinite period, you might be worried about how productive everyone will be. You might also be concerned about how people feel if they’re lonely or their creativity decreases.
Avoid being distracted
When we work in our homes, which is associated with leisure time, it can be difficult to draw boundaries between what is considered “work” and regular life. The temptation may come along when you’re out of sight or mind; turning on the TV or trying a new recipe could happen quickly without thinking about how these activities will affect future deadlines, for example.
But there’s hope! Dedicate specific hours every day (or week) as working sessions punctuated by breaks just like at your office job–rescheduling meetings if necessary so that focusing solely gets done over several sessions instead perpetual multitasking does less justice.
The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management technique that suggests you create checklists and work solidly for 25 minutes before taking short breaks to clock in new tasks. Several apps allow blocking websites or only viewing one window at a time to boost productivity by minimizing distractions from outside sources such as interruptions, which consume 28% of an employee’s average day, according to a 2017 Robert Half Talent Solutions study and OfficeTeam.
The best way to maintain balance is by simply helping employees know their limits and respecting them. It would be best if you also tried not to overextend yourself during regular hours or beyond. This will cause burnout which leads to feelings of depression & anxiety, costing $1 trillion globally every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), due in part to a lack of productivity by demanding work environments.
Create a Template (Structure, Routine, and Ergonomics)
If you are always working from home, it is essential to have a routine, structure, and daily plan keeping in mind the different time zones one works in.
If you wake up at 9 am and start working from your bed, you will not be very productive. Working from home does not mean you can work less complicatedly. If you do this, you might lose your motivation. The clothes you wear in bed can help you relax and switch off, instead of working. If you want to get ready for work, like when you are going to the office, set the alarm for the same time as if you were going to commute and exercise or take a walk first. Shower and change into clean clothes first.
Try to create a comfortable remote environment that helps you be efficient when you work. It would be best if you tried to make your work environment as similar as possible to when you are working. This is called ergonomics. Ergonomics is the study of how the working environment affects employee efficiency. For example, a study found that productivity increased by 15% when people worked in an environment with plants. Future Workplace, a research firm, found that the number one perk employees want is access to natural light and views of the outdoors.
People with a lot of natural light in their environment report less eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness. If you need to use a monitor at work, try to take it home with you so you can use it in the best environment. Your preferences may be different from other people’s. You may work better in complete silence or with some background noise. You may also prefer to stand up rather than sit down. Ensure you don’t take advantage of your colleagues’ inability to see what you’re doing when they’re not around.
Focus on moving and eating nutritiously.
Exercising is good for your physical and mental health. It is shown that walking can improve creativity by 81% and helps you relieve stress, be more creative and productive, and be a better learner. Exercising also makes you happy because it releases endorphins, but according to the National Health Service in the UK, 80 percent of adults don’t adhere to the recommendations for aerobic and muscle-building exercises. If you have to stay at home because of quarantine, don’t worry! You can still move around.
We need a consistent food supply because our brains need glucose to function. Amazon offers resistance mats for standing desks to reduce strain on your heels and knees at a reasonable price. YouTube also has free fitness instruction videos. Ensure you take frequent breaks for cooking, eating, and snacking (healthily). Regular eating is essential for the routine establishment and affects engagement and productivity. Finding a balance between taking frequent breaks and eating healthy foods may be difficult because it can be tempting to skip meals altogether or to eat junk food.
Our brains don’t function as well if we eat unhealthily prepared foods, so the quality of the food we eat is crucial. According to a study, those who consumed more fruits and vegetables were also more curious, interested, and motivated. This makes sense, given that various vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetable aid in the production of dopamine. Dopamine is crucial for motivation, engagement, and learning. As a result, make an effort to eat well.
Keeping lines of communication open and active
Building a good team requires open and constant communication. The ability to communicate remotely has never been more straightforward, thanks to technology!
Ensure everything stays on track without any gaps in communication that could lead down an undesirable path (such as forgetting about deadlines). Set daily goals and hold frequent check-ins at each stage of the process using tools like Slack channels or Microsoft Teams that enable real-time collaboration with your coworkers throughout the day.
Proper communication is crucial for the team and business to perform more efficiently. There are solutions to these problems, but if you leave work after lunch without unmuting your notifications, over time, this could breed mistrust among coworkers who might start to think their concerns weren’t significant enough or weren’t heard by management due to a lack of attention from certain people on shift at any given time. According to McKinsey Global Institute, companies employing social technology had 20% higher productivity, which suggests that they are probably using message boards of some sort.
The company’s mission is to have happy employees and better productivity. The content will serve as both inspiration AND a reminder of why we do things like work remotely: because our teams can. You can do all of this and more with Leadership Tribe.