Digital onboarding from home for new employees

Do you have new staff starting at the beginning of the month? Do you have their workplace ready and the team informed? Digital onboarding initially presents every employer with the challenge of integrating new employees into the team and work processes just as smoothly as offline. But what should be considered when conducting onboarding from home?

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the trend towards remote work. Entire processes are being digitised, meetings are carried out virtually and some companies even carry out their complete job application process online. And even if some companies and organisation are returning to face-to-face work, this trend will continue. The proportion of remote work will increase. This makes it all the more important to carry out digital onboarding from home in order to enable HR managers to quickly integrate new employees into the team digitally and introduce them to the existing work structures and processes.

We want to support you with digital onboarding – with our digital onboarding guide for you to download.

Digital onboarding – traditional onboarding made digital

You have probably already trained countless employees in person and were able to integrate them into the team and introduce them to their new tasks within a few weeks. Ideally, you already have an onboarding process or a training plan that you follow as a basis and adapt to the needs of your new colleagues. Your digital onboarding includes the same steps as traditional onboarding, but with higher technical requirements and no personal interaction.

But regardless of whether onboarding is conducted digitally or in person, the process begins on the very first day at work and is made up of three phases.

The three phases of onboarding

The job interview should always be considered as the starting point of the onboarding process. After all, if this goes well for both parties, the next steps will be salary and contract negotiations and, ultimately, employment. When the employment contract is finally signed, it is time to plan and implement the onboarding process following these three phases:

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  2. Pre-boarding

    Your new employees are now ready for their first day at your company. And they will no doubt come armed with important questions. To ease any initial nerves, it is helpful to provide them with information about your company values, the exact job description or the specific steps in the onboarding process before they start. Simply send information about your digital onboarding process via e-mail. Ideally, you should add the relevant contact persons in your company in CC – this way, your new employees will feel much less inhibited to contact them.

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  4. Orientation

    The actual onboarding starts on the first day of work. This is where you get your new employees on board and provide them with orientation within their new working environment. This includes a warm welcome, a tour of the company and introducing them to the team – for digital onboarding, it is best to use software with video telephony so that you can see each other. On the first day, get straight down to introducing your new colleagues to some initial work processes and tasks and provide the required hardware and software. Nothing is more frustrating than a workplace that is only set up gradually. The orientation phase usually covers the first three months. After this, you should sit down together to define aims, expectations and tasks in order to ensure that employees have a clear focus during the onboarding stage. The orientation phase is also easy to carry out online. There are many tools for video calls or chat rooms that your colleagues can use to get to know each other and for their daily interactions at work. Although this does not replace personal interaction, it does build cohesion between old and new teams.

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  6. Integration

    Pay close attention to the integration of new employees – from day one. Take note of nuances, respond individually and empathetically to your new colleagues and always have an open ear. There is nothing worse than losing a new team member during a resource-intensive induction process. Internal further training or team events are an easy way to get to know each other. You can also integrate new employees into the team digitally. Be creative and think about how you can also get to know each other online and share your expertise digitally. How about a virtual coffee break, for instance, or a digital games night?

Digital onboarding from home – six tips for a digital induction

The following tips will help you to plan a swift and successful e-onboarding process for everyone involved.

For all the advantages that the digital world presents, there is no doubt that direct and personal communication are complicated when it comes to digital onboarding. Especially when working from home, situational learning and simply getting to know each other is lost. There are no ‘corridor chats’ or ‘glances over the shoulder’ where the team sorts out little things among themselves. However, it is important to plan time for these internal aspects. This is why we recommend developing a generous roadmap for digital onboarding and creating communication channels that are also short in the digital domain – chats or video calls are great ways to do this.

For all the advantages that the digital world presents, there is no doubt that direct and personal communication are complicated when it comes to digital onboarding. Especially when working from home, situational learning and simply getting to know each other is lost. There are no ‘corridor chats’ or ‘glances over the shoulder’ where the team sorts out little things among themselves. However, it is important to plan time for these internal aspects. This is why we recommend developing a generous roadmap for digital onboarding and creating communication channels that are also short in the digital domain – chats or video calls are great ways to do this.


Communication is crucial in both traditional and digital onboarding. And with the right tools, it is also possible to create a sense of closeness, introduce the team and explain processes online – providing that the necessary technology is in place.

In your e-onboarding, make use of video conference software like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom to bridge the physical separation. You can also use the screen sharing function to simplify the explanation of new software, specific steps or internal processes. Messenger services are also a good way to deal with quick questions and send files. For this, install a program like Mattermost, Teams, Slack or Stackfield.

Communication is crucial in both traditional and digital onboarding. And with the right tools, it is also possible to create a sense of closeness, introduce the team and explain processes online – providing that the necessary technology is in place.

In your e-onboarding, make use of video conference software like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom to bridge the physical separation. You can also use the screen sharing function to simplify the explanation of new software, specific steps or internal processes. Messenger services are also a good way to deal with quick questions and send files. For this, install a program like Mattermost, Teams, Slack or Stackfield.


Process digitisation often sounds like a lot of work. However, the possibilities it offers are virtually limitless. This is how you can use automation to transform digital onboarding into a true experience. Make use of apps or software solutions, adapt them to your company and align them with the various requirements of your employees. This will help you to build digital stations that are to be worked through and which are stored in a schedule. You can also easily summarise relevant information, which your employees can then access at any time and from any location. Use multimedia units to combine work and fun. At the same time, you enable team leaders to gain an overview of the current status of onboarding. Automation leads to mobility and flexibility in digital onboarding – a huge advantage for all employees.

Process digitisation often sounds like a lot of work. However, the possibilities it offers are virtually limitless. This is how you can use automation to transform digital onboarding into a true experience. Make use of apps or software solutions, adapt them to your company and align them with the various requirements of your employees. This will help you to build digital stations that are to be worked through and which are stored in a schedule. You can also easily summarise relevant information, which your employees can then access at any time and from any location. Use multimedia units to combine work and fun. At the same time, you enable team leaders to gain an overview of the current status of onboarding. Automation leads to mobility and flexibility in digital onboarding – a huge advantage for all employees.


Whether the onboarding process is digital or analogue, having a fixed contact person is extremely important for new employees. After all, this mentor can quickly answer questions or clear up any doubts. This applies both for professional training and personal integration into the team. Of course, this does not mean that the contact person has to be available at all hours. It is a good idea to arrange set appointments for such professional and personal exchange.

Whether the onboarding process is digital or analogue, having a fixed contact person is extremely important for new employees. After all, this mentor can quickly answer questions or clear up any doubts. This applies both for professional training and personal integration into the team. Of course, this does not mean that the contact person has to be available at all hours. It is a good idea to arrange set appointments for such professional and personal exchange.


In many cases, tried-and-tested induction processes cannot be implemented in exactly the same way in the digital domain. And they don’t need to be, either. Instead, take advantage of the digital possibilities and find new online solutions. Give your new employees time to familiarise themselves with the new software and hardware. How about having a coffee together in the afternoon – virtually, of course? Or can you also conduct the company tour digitally? VR headsets make this possible. Team events such as games or cooking nights also work well online. The sky really is the limit!

In many cases, tried-and-tested induction processes cannot be implemented in exactly the same way in the digital domain. And they don’t need to be, either. Instead, take advantage of the digital possibilities and find new online solutions. Give your new employees time to familiarise themselves with the new software and hardware. How about having a coffee together in the afternoon – virtually, of course? Or can you also conduct the company tour digitally? VR headsets make this possible. Team events such as games or cooking nights also work well online. The sky really is the limit!


Feedback has long been a two-way process. The former practice  of the employer assessing the performance of new employees and requesting improvements has today been replaced by a feedback session that also offers employees the opportunity to give their feedback on the company. It goes without saying that this can also be held online via video call. However, if circumstances prevent this or the company wishes to collect anonymous feedback, you can also send a structured, digital questionnaire. This allows you to collect information and implement optimisation suggestions in preparation for your next digital onboarding.

Feedback has long been a two-way process. The former practice  of the employer assessing the performance of new employees and requesting improvements has today been replaced by a feedback session that also offers employees the opportunity to give their feedback on the company. It goes without saying that this can also be held online via video call. However, if circumstances prevent this or the company wishes to collect anonymous feedback, you can also send a structured, digital questionnaire. This allows you to collect information and implement optimisation suggestions in preparation for your next digital onboarding.


Guide for digital onboarding from home

As you can see, digital onboarding offers companies a wide range of possibilities for the integration of new employees into the team and their new work area as quickly and smoothly as possible, especially in the first few weeks. New technologies and expertise are often crucial for successful implementation. After all, only a well-organised digital onboarding process can integrate new colleagues into the daily work routine and create a sense of personal proximity to the team.

To help you implement digital onboarding from the home office, we have created a free guide with valuable tips for you to download. It includes the following topics:

  • Is it even worth advertising a position now?

  • Job offered? Stay on the ball!

  • How do I welcome new team members?

  • How can I design the onboarding process digitally?

  • What does the future look like?

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