5 Tips For Onboarding Employees While Remote

Last week we covered how to help your employees transition to remote work, but what about new employees? You might be onboarding new employees during this current pandemic. We wanted to give you some tips on how to onboard employees remotely during this tough time.

1. Digitize The Onboarding Paperwork Process

We are passionate about remote onboarding and the process of digitizing the onboarding paperwork process here at WorkBright. You don’t need to print or store onboarding paperwork. You can do everything in the cloud, which helps during times like this when you can’t always get to the office.

Certain industries are seeing an uptick in work right now, which means they will need to hire more temporary and part-time workers to help. If your company is experiencing this, you need to be prepared to handle the paperwork associated with onboarding. No matter when you hire employees, you need to keep up with onboarding paperwork.

Keeping paperwork in printed form isn’t smart right now. You need a system that provides your recruiting team equal access to the information they need to make intelligent hiring decisions. A digital process will help your HR department keep up with any hiring demands you might have while your company needs to work remotely.

2. Have An Onboarding Party Via Zoom

It can feel pretty lonely to be onboarded while remote. If the team you are joining isn’t used to being remote, they may not know how to create relationships online. As an employer, you should go out of your way to invite your new employees to the company. Having an online company party can help you effectively onboard employees remotely. Zoom is an excellent company that helps you connect with your employees, and it’s a company we are using to stay connected at WorkBright. Multiple people can meet at once on Zoom, and you can all have a great time connecting and welcoming your new team members.

Zoom is also great for one-on-one and team meetings during this time. As we talked about last week, adding video into your routine while working remotely is vital.

Do you need some more team bonding activities? Check out our blog post featuring team bonding ideas for remote employees.

3. Introduce New Employees To Mentors And Friends They’d Like

Since your new employees aren’t getting the chance to make connections in the office, you need to set your employees up with mentors and friends they’d like. We suggest creating a mentorship program even when your employees aren’t working remotely. Mentorship programs are a fantastic way to get your employees connected to the company and get them up to speed with company culture.

Another thing you should do during this time is facilitate friendships for your new employees. If your company is not used to working remotely, these friendships might not form as organically as they would in the office. Since employees make so many judgments about their new job during their first few weeks and months, you want to make sure that this experience is excellent for them.

4. Kick The Water Cooler Chat Up A Notch

Since you can’t chat in the kitchen of your office or at the water cooler, you should add elements of this water cooler chat into your day-to-day life while remote.

You may want to create a channel in your Slack chat devoted to any conversation that’s not work-related. Include a daily off-topic ice breaker for your employees to answer in the chat. This will help everyone get to know each other.

You can also use Zoom to do virtual coworking sessions for people who need the chatter and shuffle of work papers to get their job done. You probably don’t want to hold these chats all day, but you can set up a daily time where your employees can tune into the virtual coworking session and work with their colleagues.

5. Keep Everyone Prepared For What The Transition Back To Office Life Is Like

Lastly, you need to prepare everyone for what the transition back to office life will be like. If your new employees aren’t used to work in the office, they need to be alerted about the transition. Things are changing so rapidly for employers across the country. You probably don’t know when your team will be back to working in the office right now. Give your best estimate, keep everyone consistently informed, and create an action plan for the return back to the office.

What should new employees onboarded during this time expect once they get to the office? How will you integrate your new employees into the office environment once everyone is clear to go back to work? Start working on this plan now so that you are prepared for the return to office work.


For a more comprehensive guide you can check out our article and ebook about best practices for remote onboarding.  This is a new experience for many, even companies who are used to working remotely. You may still need to onboard new employees, even during this time. We hope these tips will give you some food for thought as you deal with how to onboard employees remotely.