Set Up the Communication Channels
Remote employees usually struggle with clogged communication channels, and healthy communication is difficult to achieve even at the office! Luckily, technology makes remote work possible. You can use various platforms, including both asynchronous and synchronous communication tools. Make sure that your remote employees know when and how to use each one of them.
If your new remote employees are not familiar with the tools you’re using or not tech-savvy, you can organize training during their first weeks. Start with the tools more broadly used by the whole company (e.g., a messaging app or a video conference platform) and the ones that they’ll need for their job (e.g., a design collaboration tool or a project management platform).
You also need to explain your company’s communication process, such as the best channel to ask a question or when it’s more appropriate to send an email instead of a chat message.
As you onboard remote employees, use some time to establish upfront and clear standards for communication and expectations via:
- Instant Messaging
- Video calls
- Project management tools (e.g., Asana, Trello, etc.)
- Phone calls
Services like HelloSign and DocuSign are legitimately and legally binding, which makes them great for remotely signing paperwork. In some states, it is necessary to physically verify the original documents. Luckily, there are many on-demand services, so you can authorize and deploy a notary.
Let remote employees know that they are expected to attend these meetings, just like any other employee. Make sure you have a video conference platform set up, and they can easily access them and be a part of the meeting. You can try appear.in. It’s easy to set up, laptop and mobile-friendly, and you can also create your personalized URL for free!
When setting up the camera or laptop, set it at eye-level, so the participants feel like they’re being included, and they can join the conversation easily.
If you hold regular one-on-ones for your in-office employees, you should also do it for your remote employees. The beauty of modern technology is that it’s fully accessible and mobile. There’s no distance a video chat or phone call can’t cover.
Hiring managers should set specific expectations and goals. Remote workers must not wait until their manager is back online to find out what their next tasks are. Make sure your hiring managers:
- Define long-term and short-term goals
- Create and share a task calendar after new hires’ onboarding and training sessions
- Schedule weekly one-on-ones to discuss progress, upcoming projects, and resolve any potential issues
Arrange role-specific training sessions. It’s often difficult to train remote employees, as real-time communication can be limited. To train remote workers effectively:
- Create product demos to explain features through video better
- Use interactive, user-friendly training courses that include quizzes and games to boost engagement
- Follow up after every session to answer any questions