The COVID-19 pandemic affected individuals and companies across the globe in one way or another. In just a few months, it changed the way people went about their day-to-day routines and how companies functioned. Most organizations had to adopt the remote work model just to stay operational. According to a report, one in four Americans will be working remotely in 2021 and by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely — an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

However, remote work comes with its own set of challenges. One of the primary concerns that companies have about distributed workforces is onboarding. Even before the pandemic, it was always a complicated and time-consuming process. Proper onboarding needs coordination between different departments, getting necessary approvals, collating a list of essential software, providing necessary permissions, getting systems ready, mapping new endpoints to the network servers and much more. If that wasn’t hard enough, remote work makes the process even more challenging.

Remote Work Challenges

There are multiple challenges associated with remote work, such as:

  • Unfamiliarity with new tools and/or processes
    Suddenly shifting from on-site work to a remote environment is not easy. Many new tools and processes are needed to collaborate with co-workers and keep work on track. When the pandemic hit initially, IT professionals had to learn about these new tools and processes almost overnight and IT leaders all over the world struggled to bridge this gap across their companies.
  • Coordination between different teams
    Ensuring a seamless flow of information between departments is paramount. Earlier, it was easier to walk up to the HR coordinator or the reporting manager to collect details about new hires’ software and tool requirements. However, remote work environments have raised the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings between departments.
  • Making systems available
    This step needs to begin even before the first day of onboarding. Systems must be installed with all the necessary tools and software, checked for proper functioning and shipped to the employees’ residences before their start date. A delay in this can negatively affect productivity, onboarding experience, perception of the company culture and employee retention.
  • Issues with IT setup
    Once an employee starts working, the first step is the IT setup. However, remote work tends to make everything from creating login IDs and passwords for all the apps to securely mapping the system to the network, more difficult. Factors such as having multiple people involved (different managers need to give access to various tools), time zone differences, stakeholder availability, etc., can play a significant role in delaying the process.
  • Improper knowledge transfer
    The last step to IT onboarding is making new hires familiar with the tools and apps they would use frequently. A thorough session explaining the security norms the company follows is also essential. But due to limited visibility, tracking whether an employee is adhering to security norms is hard. It leads to a high risk of security breaches and misuse of tools and apps.

Bad Onboarding Is Detrimental

If you still aren’t convinced about the importance of proper onboarding, take a look at these statistics:
• Only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees.
• New employees with a good onboarding experience are 18 times more committed to their employer.
• Almost 80% of employees said onboarding was an “important moment at work.”

To Sum Up

Structured onboarding is crucial because it familiarizes employees with their roles, the company in general and the do’s/don’ts. It plays a vital role in ensuring that employees feel valued and are committed to their employer’s success.

Investing in tools like IT Glue can help improve the overall IT onboarding process. IT Glue helps companies upgrade from a low/medium onboarding maturity level to high maturity by providing a road map that includes all the necessary documentation required at the time of onboarding.

Feel free to download our “Onboarding and Offboarding Employees for Clients Checklist.” It will show you the ins and outs of what needs to be done when onboarding or offboarding an employee in your clients’ organizations.

Watch our onboarding/offboarding webinar to obtain a roadmap that includes all the documentation required at the time of onboarding or offboarding.

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