Onboarding Remote Employees – Complete Guide

Onboarding remote employees is a different ballgame than onboarding employees in a traditional office setup. It would help if you created an environment where they can feel comfortable, learn how to use their tools, and get used to working remotely—without feeling isolated.

This guide will walk you through the entire process. From building a strong onboarding process for new hires to overcoming challenges and ensuring engagement among remote employees.

What is Remote Onboarding?

Remote onboarding is a process that helps new employees get acclimated to the company, even when they are not in the office. It implements the capability of technology to bring new hires on board through video calls, messaging, and virtual collaborative learning.

In a remote onboarding process, new employees learn about their role as a part of the team and set clear expectations for their day-to-day life at your company. It is a way to ensure that the new hires feel comfortable in their working environment by having a glimpse of the company culture.

Virtual onboarding is especially helpful for companies since it is cost-effective—most startups only have a limited budget for onboarding new employees, and virtual onboarding can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. In addition to helping new employees get ramped up in their roles, remote onboarding allows them to feel connected to their colleagues and new team members before their start date.

How to Onboard Remote Employees?

When it comes to onboarding new remote employees, there are a few things that you should consider to ensure that the new team member knows the core values of the company and their responsibilities.

Here are some remote onboarding tips for setting up your new employees for success:

1. Develop a training plan.

The remote onboarding process requires a structured plan to allow new hires and hiring managers to stay on track with their learning process. The plan should include training sessions, regular check-ins, initial tasks, and skill development required for the new employee’s role.

A well-developed training plan helps remote workers by outlining each new employee’s steps to succeed in their role. It also helps ensure that your new hires are up-to-date on all the information they need about their job and responsibilities.

2. Welcome the new hires.


One of the most important things you can do as a manager is welcome new hires.

When you are a new employee, it is exciting and terrifying to be starting a new job. You want to ensure you are doing everything right and making a good first impression, but you do not know what to expect from your manager or colleagues.

That is where being welcomed comes in: it lets your new hire know that they are part of the team and that everyone cares about them as much as they do their work. Whether you send a welcome letter or arrange a video call with the remote teams on their start date, it is incredibly helpful for new employees to feel excited to work.

3. Introduce the company’s mission and the new employee’s role.

When introducing a new employee to your team, setting the stage for how they will fit into your company is important.

It means that it is essential to present the company’s mission and highlight that every employee is part of something big to develop their passion for working in the company. Addressing everyone’s role in achieving the company’s goals helps new employees to strive for success in your company.

4. Assign small projects as onboarding tasks.

When you hire someone new, you should ensure they are getting off on the right foot. You want them to feel like they are part of the team and appreciate their contributions.

But if you give them a big project during the onboarding process, it can be intimidating and might feel like a lot of pressure. So instead, try assigning small projects as onboarding tasks that help your new hires familiarise themselves with the company’s processes.

Working on small tasks also allows new employees to develop their skills and show what they are capable of in working with the team. The onboarding program should include any small project that aligns with the new hire’s responsibilities.

5. Create a buddy system.

It is important to create a buddy system for new employees. One way you can do this is by assigning each new employee a more experienced colleague as a mentor or guide. The buddy will help the newbie get acclimated with the company culture and advise them on navigating the office environment.

The onboarding buddy system will also allow new hires to get to know the key people within their department—this can be helpful in relationship building among team members that will last beyond their first day on the job.

For this system, the new hires and co-workers can communicate through chat tools or video conferencing software to discuss the tasks and answer questions regarding the assigned projects.

6. Develop a remote employee onboarding checklist.

If you want to track your new employee’s progress, creating a remote onboarding checklist is crucial. It can help employees understand their tasks and responsibilities and develop their capabilities to follow the company’s processes.

The checklist is also beneficial for new hires because it would help them see their accomplishments and give them a sense of fulfilment as they go along with their small or big tasks.

7. Set up onboarding platforms.

Setting up project management platforms is important for every company to ensure remote workers have a space to share their thoughts, see each other’s working progress, and encourage collaboration.

This step is also crucial for the onboarding process because it allows new hires to interact with other team members and develop a personal connection with the remote working environment. For example, you can create a Slack channel that includes the remote onboarding checklist on these platforms and the employee handbook inside the company intranet.

8. Offer professional development and personal growth programs.

To ensure that your new remote employees are engaged, you should provide opportunities for them to grow in their professional and personal lives. They must have time to pursue professional development goals, but it is equally important to have the opportunity to focus on self-development.

These programs also help reduce employee turnover and ensure that the new employees feel that the company values their well-being and growth. You can provide online courses and workshops in leadership, productivity, and communication skills, which would also benefit the company.

How Long Does Remote Onboarding Take?

When it comes to onboarding, time is of the essence.

Remote onboarding is a great way to ensure that your new hires are settled in as quickly and easily as possible, but you’ve got to be careful not to rush the process. Rushing remote onboarding can often result in a longer-term impact on your organisation’s culture and productivity.

The onboarding process typically takes two to three weeks, but sometimes, different job responsibilities require a deeper understanding and mastery. It is important to consider the experiences of future hires when setting up a timeline for the remote onboarding process.

Challenges of Remote Onboarding

When dealing with new employees, taking every necessary step to make their first week productive, especially if they are doing their job remotely, is essential. As new employees fill their positions, some challenges may arise along the process. Successfully onboarding a remote employee comes with many hurdles, but knowing these challenges is the first proactive step you can take to address them.

Here are some challenges that you should expect when onboarding remote employees and what you can do to avoid them:

1. Setting Up Tech Tools

Setting up tech tools for remote onboarding is a process that takes a lot of time and effort. A study suggests that more than 90% of new hires encounter problems with the tools required for remote working.

This instance suggests that every company should prioritise the ease of usage of these tools or create a comprehensive learning tool to ensure a smooth start for new employees.

2. Building Connections with Remote Employees

As a new hire in a traditional work setup, it is already hard to build a connection with other team members. This reality is even harder for new remote employees since the communication with new colleagues is all within a virtual platform.

Training managers must highlight the importance of team spirit within the company culture to address this challenge. Setting up regular synchronous check-ins and virtual team buildings will allow a strong bond within the company despite distributed teams among other departments, even in a remote setup.

3. Overcoming the Sense of Isolation

The feeling of isolation is common among remote employees and is no different for every new remote employee during their onboarding experience. The lack of physical communication makes employees feel disconnected from their colleagues.

To overcome the sense of isolation, remote employees must have a little chat during working hours and get to know each other’s roles. This way, you can encourage a smooth onboarding experience without feeling lonely.

4. Avoiding Miscommunication

New employee onboarding requires plenty of exchange in communication, whether by e-mail, video conferences, or live chats. However, it could lead to miscommunication caused by the lack of physical and verbal cues.

The company could avoid this if the training sessions included communication skills development for every remote employee onboarding. The importance of proper communication should be overstated and emphasised during the interview process up to employee onboarding.

5. Maintaining Engagement and Productivity

As the new employee progresses in their onboarding process, it is crucial to maintain their engagement and productivity in their role.

It is easy for many employees to lose passion for their work. Therefore, it is essential to keep people focused on their responsibilities by constantly checking in and providing development programs led by the company’s people operations head.

Things to Avoid When Onboarding Remotely

When starting your remote team, there is a lot to consider. You need to figure out how to manage the new employee you are hiring and ensure they have an idea of their contributions as a part of your team.

But you must remember another important thing: how do you avoid making mistakes as you bring new people on board?

Here are some tips for avoiding common pitfalls when onboarding remotely

1. Information Overload

According to statistics, most employees say that their company is not addressing the problems of information overload. The survey reveals that information overload is problematic for large and small companies. The ability to keep up with the latest trends, industry news and corporate policies can be overwhelming for even the most dedicated employees.

It is important to avoid information overload during employee onboarding—do not expect new hires to read through and understand the employee handbook in one sitting. The company must encourage the efficient use of time without bombarding employees with further information to avoid misunderstandings.

2. Rushing the Training Sessions

The training session is the most important part of remote employee onboarding, and with so many tasks on the line, it can be tempting to rush through the training process to get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible.

But this is not as effective as we might think. Rushing through training could hurt your business in the long run by causing confusion and promoting mediocrity among employees with their job responsibilities.

If the situation calls for an extended period, then provide the new hire more time to develop their skill before leaving them on their own. Although it might be costly for the company, rushing the training session would not be beneficial in the long run since the new hire might not develop essential skills to follow the company’s fast-paced processes.

3. Dismissing the Importance of a Training Plan

Training is a key part of any company’s growth and success, and it is important to have a plan to ensure that your employees are getting the training they need to succeed. While it may seem small, having an effective training plan can significantly affect how well your employees can grow and develop within your organisation.

Having a clear set of goals and objectives makes it easier for you to measure the success of your training program while also allowing you to use those measurements to determine whether any changes or adjustments are necessary. A good training plan will provide a structure for new employees to follow, and it can positively affect productivity in the same way it would benefit the company.

Remote Onboarding Best Practices

When you are thinking about onboarding new hires, you want to make sure you are doing it in the best way possible.

That means ensuring that the process is as efficient and effective as possible from start to finish. Here are some remote onboarding best practices:

  1. Set clear expectations.
  2. Create personalised goals without compromising the company’s processes.
  3. Ensure that the training plan aligns with the new hire’s responsibilities.
  4. Be as detailed as possible when creating a remote employee handbook.
  5. Train managers to handle the remote onboarding process.
  6. Schedule regular check-ins with the new hire.
  7. Address all possible concerns that might arise during the training process.
  8. Give feedback regularly.
  9. Prioritise employee engagement.
  10. Celebrate the goals and milestones of the new hire.

Positive Impacts of a Successful Remote Onboarding

Remote onboarding is a process that helps new employees get accustomed to the work environment and get up-to-speed with their job responsibilities. It effectively introduces people from different locations, cultures, and time zones to your workplace.

Here are the positive impact of successful remote onboarding on an organisation summed up in four key areas:

  1. Higher retention rate among employees
  2. Cost-efficient
  3. Easier to hire talent from other geographical locations
  4. Better overall employee engagement


Creating a strong onboarding experience is key to setting up any new remote employee. The more structured and detailed your onboarding processes are, the more likely you retain new employees.

So, bookmark this ultimate guide to ensure a successful remote onboarding to grow your company.

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Join our team today and be part of a company that values your skills, invest in your professional and personal growth,, and empowers you to make a difference.

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Finding the right skills for your business should not be a hassle. With our expertise, extensive network, and personalized approach, we can help you find the perfect match that will fuel your business success.