“Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.”– Earl Nightingale. You got a new job, it’s your first day, jitters maybe…, not as much, as you are a remote employee. The day in a life of a remote employee, are flexible work hours, comfortable clothing, a computer, and headphones. As a remote employee, being micro-managed is less of a thought; as scientifically is states that by working remotely, employees are more productive. This method of working benefits the employer as well as the employee, as perks include: work-life balance, no dress code, and a lot of office space, which sounds great, but for every pro there is a con. Some disadvantages to working remotely are: lack of interaction, less real engagements with people in a home office, team-building decreases, at times disengaged, and spontaneous conversations/brainstorming become harder.
It is a team effort; it starts with the employer aiming to close the gap between the employee and employer. Employers should strive to have every employee, rather remote or in-house, be engaged, up to speed, and mostly make them feel as if their contribution matters. Remote employees might not be there physically, but they matter and for employees to be able to work positively, diligently, effectively, and efficiently, employers must consider these three onboarding strategies:
- Set up regular check-ins: There are several digital tools available now, in the Age of Technology; therefore, frequent communication is necessary and easy. Try meeting weekly to make sure the new hire or individual feels comfortable with the tasks given. Develop a buddy system, pair more seasoned employees with new hires to form partnerships, provide guidance and knowledge.
- Create opportunities for team building: Set up meetings for remote employees to be introduced to the team as well as at any weekly meeting, once onboard, let the team know about the new hire that’s just joined the team. If possible allow the new hire to come to the office to meet persons of the team (Meet and Greet). At any time, create opportunity for team work, partnerships and connections between the in-office employees and the remote employees. If employees are spread all over remotely, come up with a way to express ideas (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) to absorb knowledge, be transparent, and transcend.
- Invest in continuing education: Employers should want to see their employees succeed; invest in your employee’s future. Provide opportunities which allow remote employees to attend conferences, take certifications, complete development workshops and go back to get an advance degree. As employers, encourage employees with tuition reimbursement, paid training, and leadership roles for existing roles to fill.
It’s all about interaction, involvement, and engagement.