I never thought I would work remotely, but a year into the pandemic that changed most people’s work-life experience drastically, I realized that I thrived when working from home. I started looking for a job that both aligned with my career goals and would let me work remotely, and serendipitously connected with Isos Technology. While many companies scrambled to adapt to new ways of working, Isos has had a significant percentage of employees working remotely for years, and has built a culture perfectly aligned with the type of experience that many employees want now.
My first few months at Isos have gone better than I could have imagined, and I feel connected to my coworkers in a way that I never thought possible without ever having seen them in person. Here are five best practices that Isos follows to make onboarding for remote employees easier and more engaging...
New employees meet with the head of each department virtually to get an overview of that team and its responsibilities. This helps put faces to names on the org chart, and introduces new employees to the right people to go to if they have questions or need help. In my first few days and weeks at Isos, I already felt comfortable reaching out to key stakeholders because I had met with them from the very beginning and established a line of communication.
Isos uses a meeting app called Donut to pair employees and schedule them for casual, one-on-one conversations every other week. All employees can opt in to these virtual, 30-minute coffee chats, which are a great opportunity to talk to people I don’t usually interact with in the course of my day-to-day job. I get paired with a different coworker every time, so eventually I hope to meet everyone in the company.
Everyone gets excited when a new issue of our internal company newsletter comes out. Isos’ publication features new employee profiles with answers to fun questions like “What animal would you be and why?” and “What’s your favorite dessert?” There are also write-ups on different business units, employee trivia, and stories from different employees each time. I’ve gotten to know more about our business and the people that make up Isos, and also got my chance to be in the spotlight as a new employee.
Isos follows a meeting format called Level 10 (L10) for weekly executive and team meetings. One section of the agenda is asking each team member to share one personal and one professional “best” for the week. I’ve gotten to know my immediate teammates much better in a short amount of time based on their comments, from learning about pets and family members, to special occasions and passions outside of work.
I know there might be some pushback on this practice, because after months and months of remote interactions, many people are struggling with “Zoom fatigue.” However, Isos’ on-camera policy has been crucial for me in getting to know my coworkers and reading the room as I’m thrown into new situations and experiences. Body language and facial expressions are key aspects of communication, and can be the telling difference between humor and sincerity, or agreement and hesitation. Being able to see the people I’m talking to, on the good days and the bad – just like it would be in-office – has given me far more insight and understanding into them than audio-only meetings ever could.
Remote onboarding for new employees doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating. There are many ways to make distributed teams feel connected, engaged, and excited to work together, you just have to figure out what works best for your company.