Who Needs the Office? Major Takeaways from Andela Conference on Accelerating Productivity with Remote Onboarding


As more companies make the shift to remote work for their team members, continually making sure the model is effective for onboarding new workers as well as productive for old workers is important. Paystack organized a webinar that discussed both issues.

The panel consisted of Coursera’s former growth team lead, James Tyack; and Andela’s Partnership Manager, Wanbui Kinya. The two shared insights from how both Andela and Coursera are making the remote model work.

James Tyack and Wanbui Kinya

Here are the major points they shared.

Break the ice for new intakes coming into the company’s remote model

Integration is key. The company gets better results if the team leads or existing staff deliberately open the way for new people who are coming into the company’s remote model to find their space in the company. This goes against putting the responsibility of fitting in on the new intakes and shows the connection and empathy the company has.

Hiring new people

Communicate the online company rituals and expectations clearly so that they have an idea of what goes on and what they are expected to do in order to keep the overall team spirit buoyant.

If it is a completely remote model, deliberately creating online social sessions help to give a more humane personality to the company. Of course, unstructured social meetings organized by the company can help people contribute more and feel involved early, without taking the focus off of the company’s goals.

Getting the onboarding process right in a remote model has a significant impact on employee commitment, the company’s bottom line, and team productivity.

Strength of the feedback loop and effectiveness of the process flow are ways to measure the success of a remote working model

Goals are divided into steps and processes. To know if the remote model is working, it is important to evaluate how helpful and effective the process flow for achieving goals is. Besides the practicability of the process flow, its success hinges on how well it is communicated to the staff who use it.

If the goals are not being achieved because some steps are hampered by the remote model, it means the model is not productive and should be reexamined. So also should the process flow.

Since a remote model means that physical interaction is limited, having a feedback loop that effectively gets responses from team members is important.

Who Needs the Office? Major Takeaways from Andela Conference on Remote Work

If the loop adequately helps to understand and determine how projects can be better iterated and executed and how effective the process flow and communication is, it is a good indicator that the remote model is working for the company. Forms and other one-on-one reviews are good ways of creating a feedback loop within the company.

Consider the strength of the team before bringing in plenty of new staff remotely

Since the integration of new people also depends on the existing staff, you should consider how feasible it will be for team members to invest time and effort in collaborating with new staff virtually. This will help the new staff understand process flows and help them hit the ground running.

Suggested read: #NextQuestion: Gbenga Odegbami of Youverify Speaks on the Possibilities of Remote Work

If the rest of the staff are highly vested in the company’s processes and structures, it is much more feasible for them to communicate it to others and help them get in line.

The company is about business. However, according to Andela’s Wanbui, finding ways to reduce workflow friction in the remote model is essential. In addition, fostering remote collaboration between people and making the company’s team leads available and approachable will make the model highly effective and enjoyable for the company’s team.

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