Getting to grips with a new job and fitting in with a new team is always a challenge, no matter how welcoming your new co-workers and manager are. There are even more obstacles to overcome if onboarding takes place remotely.
Just two years ago, it would have been unthinkable for a new hire to start their new job at home, rather than in the office. After all, you only get to know your manager and co-workers as small rectangles on your screen. But due to COVID-19, this situation has become the norm, and around a quarter of employers now rely on digital onboarding.
Companies have a lot of groundwork to do to ensure that starting a job remotely goes smoothly. First of all, the new employee’s hardware and requisite software need to be delivered in time. New devices for the remote workplace should also be pre-configured in such a way that they can be easily and quickly set up, intuitively or with the help of an enclosed instruction sheet. Data protection should also be a focus here.
Companies have the opportunity to use the remote onboarding process to earn kudos with employees by providing hardware and software in appealing or even personalized packaging. Making unboxing fun creates positive associations with the new job.
When it comes to IT equipment, there are many opportunities to surprise new hires in a positive way, for example by actively involving them in the selection process. Allowing new employees to create their own digital workplace from a list of IT devices increases their sense of empowerment and belonging. The best way to handle this is through a self-service online portal that offers a user experience similar to that of an online retailer.
Data shows that IT equipment is a key factor in employee satisfaction – or dissatisfaction – when working from home. In 2017, the following were named as the greatest challenges when working from home: poor technical equipment, management’s preference for working in the office, difficulties in separating work and personal life, and collaborating with colleagues.
Most of these challenges are no longer much of an issue in 2021. Whereas 70 percent of respondents in 2017 stated that collaborating with colleagues was difficult, that figure has fallen to below 20 percent in 2021. Management’s preference for working entirely in the office is now only an obstacle in just under 15 percent of cases, compared to over 60 percent back in 2017. And around half of respondents found it difficult to separate work and leisure time in 2017, while today that figure has dropped to around 20 percent.
But there is one area in which relatively little has changed: the equipment used when working from home. Before the coronavirus pandemic, around 45 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with it, and a third still complain about it today. Companies that tackle this issue during the digital onboarding process can remove probably the biggest hurdle to working remotely.
If you would like to know more about digital onboarding, check out our video in which Rasmus Schneider tells us about his experiences of starting a new job remotely.