Covid-19 changed the world of work for us all. As remote working policies were enforced across the globe, both employers and employees had to adjust to a new approach to keep things running smoothly – relatively speaking. Now, with lockdown restrictions seemingly a thing of the past, many workers across the globe are looking to continue working in this new reality of hybrid work. 

However, this growing demand for remote-first work can present a challenge for business owners, particularly when onboarding new employees who are unfamiliar with the company culture and policies. There are likely to be differing expectations from these people when it comes to starting a new job, and it’s important to be aware of what these expectations may be, as well as how to implement them.

Here are some of the things remote hires will expect this year as they embark on a new professional venture.


An early start


For most forward-thinking companies, onboarding doesn’t start on their new hire’s first day in the role. Employees will want to already have a thorough understanding of the company’s processes and its internal culture, so they have a good idea of what they can expect when joining. But how can you tell them all they need to know before you’re able to show them? 

One way is through blogs and social media posts, which may celebrate your company’s culture. Information about your policies and benefits will help new starters to align themselves with your values from the very beginning. 

You could also look to create a series of training videos whereby a member of your team explains how different processes work in day-to-day operations. These will act as a good reference point for new employees who will be receiving lots of information in one go once they start.

It’s also important to discuss company culture at the interview stage. It’s not just a one-way street – both parties must feel like they will be a good fit for each other when it comes to culture. Rather than speaking with management teams, interviewees may find more value (and be more comfortable) talking to other employees about company culture, to find out how they feel the values and policies are implemented in their own experience. 


WFH ( aka work from home) allowance 


When working in an office environment, everyone will likely be on a level playing field, with any computers, furniture or other necessary equipment provided by the company. But everyone’s situation at home is different, and this can create a disparity between employees, potentially hindering their ability to be productive and fulfill their roles. 

Companies have a duty to provide new starters (and existing employees) with any essential equipment that they may need in the role. Further to this, many companies also offer employees a WFH ( work from home) allowance. This allowance can be used on anything that will make it easier for them to do their job from home, such as office furniture, Wi-Fi boosters or any pieces of tech. Whilst companies aren’t legally required to provide employees with this type of budget, it can go a long way to helping new starters settle in, particularly if they’ve never been in a remote role before. 


Streamlined admin 

There are masses and masses of new information to take on for anyone starting a new role, and getting bogged down by constant workplace notifications and admin tasks takes time away from their central responsibilities. Whilst it is an essential part of welcoming a new employee on board, there are many ways you can streamline this process for remote hires. 

Where possible, it’s best to keep all the relevant information centralized in one place. Whether this is by simply storing documents in one folder or using collaborative task tracking tools like Trello, having everything in one place will make it easier for new hires to complete the required tasks, leaving them to focus on their primary responsibilities.


Clarity and support


Whilst starting a new job in an office environment with lots of people around is daunting, it provides the opportunity to interact with colleagues and ask questions as and when help is needed. But this opportunity is somewhat removed when working from home, and not having those ad hoc conversations on a regular basis can ultimately lead to a lack of clarity over what’s expected. Not only does this inhibit a new starter’s ability to carry out their responsibilities effectively, but it can also be a contributing factor to workplace burnout, if it carries on for too long. 


At the start of their probationary period, set targets and progress goals to help outline what is expected of them during this time. You should also ensure members of the new starter’s team are checking in on their progress throughout. Feedback should be an important part of these check-ins, from both the new hire and fellow colleagues. This will help to give new starters greater clarity and enable them to establish the part they have to play in the company. 




Working in a remote-first role means it’s easy for new starters to feel disconnected from the rest of the team, and subsequently the company as a whole. To avoid this, it’s important to establish and maintain effective communication channels from the very beginning. 

Whilst they’re no substitute for in-person interactions, online messaging platforms such as Meta’s Workplace, Slack or Microsoft Teams can go a long way to bridging the communication gap for remote employees. Not only can these platforms be used for one-to-one chats and group messaging, but they’re also the perfect place to post any business updates or news. Having all this information on one central platform will hopefully help workers to feel part of the bigger picture, whilst any queries or worries can be quickly addressed.

Many new hires will also value the opportunity for social interactions away from their professional duties. Though these unfortunately are likely to be few and far between with a remote team, with a little creativity, it is still possible to establish effective working relationships through social opportunities. For example, virtual socials are a great way to get people together (albeit on a screen) and engage with one another in a different way. 


Whilst this is unlikely to be the be-all and end-all for new employees, small considerations like these can make a big difference going forward.