With many companies transitioning to remote work, there is a need to move a large part of the company’s processes online. This includes onboarding new employees, which, like recruitment, is increasingly modified into being conducted remotely. This presents new challenges for business owners as a well-prepared onboarding program is key to successful collaboration. How can they meet this challenge and ensure that remote onboarding is just as effective? In this article, we share practical tips on how to successfully onboard new employees remotely!

What is onboarding and why is it important?

Onboarding, the process of introducing a new employee to the company, is one of the key HR processes. It largely determines whether an individual will decide to stay with the organization after the initial trial period. A well-organized onboarding plan is primarily designed to provide new team members with the tools to quickly adapt to their new environment and start working independently and comfortably.

Why is onboarding important? It’s important to remember that a new employee in a company always goes through a series of first impressions: the first day at work, the first meeting with the leader and colleagues, the first tasks, and the opportunity to present oneself as a specialist to the team. Newly hired individuals are usually motivated and enthusiastic about the professional challenges ahead. However, this initial excitement can easily be undermined if, from the first days, employees encounter indifference from others and a stack of chaotically conveyed information.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can reach up to 50% within the first 18 months of employment. For companies, this means the need to restart recruitment, which requires investing time and money again. Furthermore, departing employees can put pressure on overloaded resources, worsening the company’s atmosphere. Poorly planned onboarding can significantly contribute to this. During the onboarding period, newly hired individuals verify whether the employer’s image presented during the recruitment process is reflected in their daily work. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure their positive experiences.


Research conducted in the Polish market estimates that in 56% of domestic companies, the onboarding program lasts only a week, while the recommendations of the 4C onboarding model by Tayli N. Bauer suggest that a new employee needs an average of 90 days to fully become independent in their new position.

A week is therefore far too short for an employee to fully understand the company, its people, and feel confident in their role, effectively performing their daily duties.


A well-conducted onboarding process is crucial to ensuring that employees are adequately prepared for independent work, maintaining high levels of engagement and motivation. An effectively implemented onboarding plan also affects how quickly a new team member achieves full autonomy in the workplace, fully assuming their responsibilities.

The onboarding process can also support new employees in adapting to the organizational culture and effectively building a sense of belonging to the company, which is also an important element in increasing employee retention.


One of the key challenges of remote onboarding is still the lack of direct contact with supervisors and colleagues. For this reason, remote new hires may sometimes feel a sense of loneliness or isolation from the rest of the team. When working together in an office, spontaneous coffee meetings and conversations with people from other departments, with whom remote employees do not normally interact, are much easier. Therefore, an important point of every onboarding program, especially when conducted remotely, should be to ensure that new employees feel like a part of the organization from their very first day.

Adaptation process – where is it best to organize it?

The way the onboarding process unfolds often determines whether the collaboration with the newly hired employee will continue after the end of the adaptation period. Therefore, it’s essential not only to prepare an onboarding program effectively but also to ensure that the onboarding location fosters effective collaboration.


Some companies, when hiring remote workers, require their presence in the workplace for the first week or two of onboarding. When organizing onboarding in this way, it is essential to prepare a professional workstation, providing all necessary equipment and access to key resources in advance. It’s also worth informing other employees when the new employee will arrive, introducing them, and giving them a tour of the company, showing them how the organization operates.


Direct, in-person interactions can be an important starting point for further fruitful cooperation, so it’s worth planning a face-to-face introductory meeting with the rest of the team as part of the onboarding process. If the company works entirely remotely and does not have its own office, coworking spaces for companies can be a convenient option. At Idea Place, we provide the opportunity to rent a conference room for hours, creating professional and comfortable conditions for team integration and larger meetings.


Remote onboarding can be somewhat challenging if conducted in a home environment. The first days in a new company undoubtedly require focus, peace, and professional working conditions, which are sometimes hard to find at home. In such situations, it’s worth using coworking spaces for freelancersa fully equipped office space will undoubtedly facilitate self-organization, allowing you to focus on new professional challenges.

The 4C model, or an effective remote onboarding plan

According to the model proposed by researcher Tayli N. Bauer, an effective onboarding plan should include four key levels:

Online knowledge base – an idea for introducing a new employee to the workplace

During the first day of work, new team members need to receive all the necessary information. However, it’s essential not to overwhelm them with too much information but to provide essential information in a clear and organized manner.

To achieve this, it’s worth developing a knowledge base that standardizes the information provided to new employees, ensuring consistency and completeness. Various guides and checklists will also be helpful, both for the new employee and for the team responsible for onboarding. These should explain step by step what the onboarding process looks like, what the plans are for the first days and weeks at the new workplace, what the communication and collaboration rules are in the company, and include answers to questions that may raise concerns among new team members.

However, it’s important not to get carried away with creating lengthy documents, remembering that onboarding is not intended to be a one-way process. An effective onboarding program is not just a document to read once but continuous communication and a process spread over time.

How to remotely onboard a new employee step by step?

A good onboarding program should include the presence of a mentor, i.e., a person directly responsible for the new employee during the first weeks of work. The mentor’s role, however, is not only to introduce the new employee to their duties but also to be a point of contact for any doubts, questions, or problems, allowing the new team member to feel supported and know who to turn to if they encounter difficulties.

On the first day of work, the team leader should introduce the new person to the entire organization, for example, through a publicly available channel on the company’s messaging platform, providing a brief description of their role, experience, interests, etc. It’s also worth planning video meetings with the supervisor and the team, remembering that new individuals usually have many questions and doubts that should not be left unaddressed.

Evaluation and improvement of the employee onboarding process

As part of the onboarding plan, it’s worth scheduling regular meetings to summarize the individual stages as they progress. This creates a space for exchange of insights, and discussion of both progress and needs or any possible concerns. This will help avoid misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises, and the new employee will know exactly whether they are performing their duties well.
Another important aspect is feedback from new employees. At the end of the onboarding period, it’s worth providing them with a satisfaction survey about the onboarding process and its overall assessment. This will provide the company with valuable feedback on how to improve it in the future.