Don’t you miss having the watercooler chat with your colleagues and finally being able to meet the faces you have not seen in a while?
After almost a year of working from home and with vaccination programs in full swing, you are finally coming back to your desks.
But, what about the new hires who started remotely? They are probably excited about their first day at the office, but at the same time, a bit nervous.
So, what should you do to make sure the new hires are settling in? Here are a few tips about re-onboarding the remote hires when you’re back to the office, so they feel 100% connected to the company.
Get oriented at the office
This may not be necessary, but keep in mind that these new hires have never set foot in the office. They may not know where to get coffee, or where the IT department is if they ever face any technical issues.
So, remember to give them a tour around the office. They need to know the direction to the restrooms, pantry, or meeting rooms. Of course, you will also want to show them the nearest fire exits or elevator to the lobby.
Keep up the communication
You have only been communicating with the remote hires via emails, phone calls, or video calls. And because of that, they are still considered newbies in different aspects even if they are all back to the office.
Make sure that there is constant communication between the new hires and their respective managers. Ideally, organise a face-to-face session with the new hires to develop stronger relationships with them.
They have to keep the team updated about deliverables and making sure the new joiners understand the work processes.
On the other hand, let the new remote hires know that they can always reach out the HR with any questions or concerns. This is to make them feel valued and supported, to promote a positive work environment.
Allow new remote hires to bond
When new remote hires come back to the office, there is a good chance that they have not been seeing any new faces in the past 12 months, let alone joining a team full of unfamiliar faces.
Consider grouping the new remote hires altogether. Let them interact and get to know each other. Organise icebreakers and informal networking sessions with other colleagues to enforce camaraderie to promote better collaboration at work.
Check in with them regularly
Or at least in the first two weeks. Managers of remote hires may assume they don’t need much assistance since they have already been on the job for some period. Remind the managers that it is also their responsibility to get the remote hires up to speed in adjusting to the new environment. Most importantly, provide everything they need.
Encourage managers to bring them out for lunch with their respective colleagues from the same team. Conduct a one-on-one with the remote hires during their first week. Find out if they need any support or resources to adjust themselves to the new workplace environment.
Implement a buddy system
Not only are the remote hires working at a new company, but also adjusting to the new situation once everyone gets back to the office. There will be many unfamiliar faces, which makes them feel insecure.
There are so many things to get used to. Creating a buddy system can help increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Aim to pair the new remote hires with tenured employees that are familiar with the physical office and the company culture. This can make them feel more welcomed and help them navigate the new dynamics once they are back in the office.