While some companies like IBM are corralling remote workers back to the office, most companies are still attempting to successfully manage remote employees. For younger workers, working from home is an expected option. But have they (or their employers) considered what is lost when new workers don’t spend time onboarding in the office?
Newer workers may need guidance about expectations and how to work effectively on their own and with the team. They haven’t developed their work habits yet and need to become acclimated to the organization’s culture, and they need time to learn the job in the office before working from home is a productive endeavor.
But the benefits of working onsite first aren’t just for millennials and Generation Z. Assumptions can influence the way experienced workers adapt, and they may carry their previous work culture with them, or a culture may develop among remote workers. Having them spend time in the office working with colleagues first helps them learn to fit in and relate and learn do’s and don’ts.
So, what constitutes a meaningful on-site experience for new workers of all career stages?
That first few weeks on the job is critical, and small but meaningful gestures such as SWAG and business cards make new employees feel like they count and that their presence is important. Some companies have started providing new employees with plants to signify their growth potential within the organization. Beyond that, some companies have started putting together welcome-to-the-neighborhood guides to help new employees learn where to get lunch or an after-work beer.
Once employees have a grasp of the culture and expectations, there will be a stronger alignment between expectations and performance.
How are you onboarding remote workers? How much time do they spend in the office before beginning their remote assignments?