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Background info: I am the only remote worker in my organization and live out of state from my main office. I have remotely mentored interns previously. These will be my first direct reports.

I have two interns starting at the main office soon that will report to me. What can I do to ensure they have a smooth start, when I feel like I am at a disadvantage since I will be the only team member not there physically on their first day?

  • are they paid or are they getting college credit? – mhoran_psprep Jan 5 '18 at 13:49
  • @mhoran_psprep they are well paid tech interns. – taffy Jan 5 '18 at 14:05
  • This is a great question – Jim G. Jan 5 '18 at 23:45
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Here are some things I have done in preparation.

  • Call them to see if they have questions beforehand - this will introduce you to them a bit and help them feel more confident
  • Arrange for a coworker to introduce them to the rest of the team and give them a tour
  • Set up a video conference with them ASAP on their first day - since you can't be there in person, this will break the ice and help them put a face to you.
  • Ensure their office environment and equipment is available
  • Ensure onboarding info is up to date
  • Plan a trip to the office soon if possible to meet them in person. This speeds up relationship building and camaraderie.

Edit based on comments and experience: It is highly preferred to be there on their first day. Otherwise you have to rely on your teammates for a lot of work like ensuring their desks are set up, and helping with computer log on before they have access to their phones/video conferencing.

You should also do the basics you would with any new employee: clarify expectations on work hours, communication, and individual contributions.

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    If at all possible, try to travel there for the first day. Meeting them in person will pay dividends. I would also add, especially since these are interns, make your expectations clear the first day in a phone call and a written followup. Things like how often to commit to source control, policies concerning attendance and timesheets, when to ask for help, etc. Interns are often unclear on how the work world works in general and need specifics of what is expected. – HLGEM Jan 5 '18 at 14:53
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I think the fact that you are asking this question and judging from your other questions show that you should be fine on-boarding these interns. From the perspective of a recent intern: I think you should reach out to them often especially during the starting weeks asking for updates/generally see how things are going so they get used to communicating with you as an off site employee. As an intern they may not be as comfortable or effective with business communication especially when they are reporting to someone off site and may be hesitant to send emails or call you as often as they should.

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