A Checklist For Equipping Remote Hires Globally

Guest post by Hugh Irvine Maltezos, Content Marketer at Hofy

19th Apr 2023

Work continues to go global. Companies are ever exploring further afield to find the right people. And people can discover the right place to work, wherever they may be.

But more people working remotely means more people needing the right tools and equipment to set them up for success. There are many things to consider before you start handing out kit.

From prioritising IT security to building the best employee experience, here are our top 10 tips:

1. Create a comprehensive equipment policy

An equipment policy - outlining how you equip your new hires - is important for two reasons. Internally, you need to align on spend and process to avoid inefficiencies and potential issues. And it’s important that your team members understand what equipment they have access to as part of your benefits package.

Here are a few things to consider when drafting your equipment policy:

Budget - How will you set your budget?

There’s no one way to budget. You could set a flat budget for all team members. But you may want to consider role requirements and individual circumstances that would dictate equipment needs.

For example, a Senior Software Engineer probably requires a laptop with more processing power than someone in Sales. A team member who suffers from back pain may need a chair with better lumbar support than colleagues who do not. 

Ultimately, you want to achieve equity of experience. And that might mean setting team-specific budgets or catering to individual needs, to ensure every team member can do their best work. 

Who will order the equipment - you or your new hires?

There are pros and cons to both. So this is really a matter of preference. 

If you control the ordering process, you spare your new hire from being out of pocket while they wait for their expenses to be reimbursed. It may be much easier to track spend and assets. But this can also be quite a time-consuming way of doing things - you’ll need to liaise with your new hire on what they need when they can be in for deliveries, and take into account any personal preferences.

If you let your new hires order their own equipment, you give them greater flexibility and choice. You don’t know what equipment they already own - some team members may already own desks or AirPods and want to use their allowance on the best monitor they can afford instead of a spread of items.

But work equipment is expensive, and it’s not the best experience for your new hire to be waiting weeks, or even months, for their expenses to be processed. Freedom also creates risk - what’s to stop your new hire from buying £300 headphones instead of getting the ergonomic tools they actually need to be comfortable at home.

That’s why, at Hofy, we give you both options. You can order equipment for your teams from our platform. Or, you can invite your new hires to log into our platform and order from a catalogue you’ve pre-approved.

Actioning your policy 

It’s no good just creating a policy. Your new hires need to know about it.

Make sure you incorporate your policy into your onboarding programme, so expectations are set from day one.

2. Be aware of local Health & Safety (H&S) standards 

The equipment your remote workers use may need to meet minimum adjustability or feature requirements. And these standards will vary by region.

For example, under EU regulations

  • Office chairs must be height adjustable, with the backrest also adjustable and tiltable. 
  • Workers are entitled to a footrest if they request one from their employer. 
  • Keyboards must be tiltable. 
So it’s important that you check health & safety legislation wherever you hire, to ensure you’re meeting your obligations for providing and maintaining equipment.

3. Provide every team member with a device

Some companies encourage employees to use their personal devices (known as “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” policies). This may appear to save costs. But BYOD policies create a lot of security risks, which could cost you a lot more in the long run.

This is because your IT department cannot impose security measures on personal devices. When employees work on asynchronous schedules and not in offices, they are also more likely to download work-related apps (like Slack, Zoom and Google Docs) onto their personal devices. This greatly increases the risk of sensitive information leaking into an insecure environment.

4. Set up devices before shipping

It’s hardly the best onboarding experience to spend your first few hours, or day, on the job, downloading apps and waiting for updates to run. Especially when you start your job at home, and can’t meet your colleagues or tour the office. 

And with remote workers often working from less secure networks (e.g. home broadband, public WiFi), leaving the installation of security applications down to each employee poses major cybersecurity risks. 

If your new hires receive devices ready-to-use, they can hit the ground running and enjoy a more meaningful onboarding experience. And you can put those security risks to the back of your mind.

5. Enrol devices into an MDM before shipping

Part of your set up process should involve enrolling all devices into a mobile device management (MDM) solution

This is an essential tool for maintaining high levels of security and boosting productivity. MDMs allow you to secure, update, monitor and manage your devices fully remotely.

It’s particularly important to have this infrastructure in place when your devices don’t stay in your offices. Laptops are stolen every 53 seconds, and a stolen work laptop is estimated to cost a business just under $50,000. 

It’s not worth the risk.

6. Make sure equipment arrives before the start date

Onboarding experiences for remote employees do not get much worse than not having the primary tool for which your work and communication are carried out - your laptop. 

Making sure equipment arrives before your new hire’s start date will not only leave the employee feeling prepared and excited by the time their start date comes around, but it will also avoid the security risks of the employee working from a personal laptop in the meantime, and let your new hire hit the ground running.  

7. Work with a provider that can deliver globally 

If you want to fully reap the benefits of accessing the global talent pool, you’re best off working with an equipment provider who truly delivers globally. Your talent needs to be provided with the tools they need to succeed, no matter where they are based.  

8. Standardise the experience globally

Every employee deserves the same experience, irrespective of where they work. If your workers at HQ have far better tools than your workers in hard-to-reach locations, you’ve tiered your employee experience, which impacts retention, employee morale and your culture.

That’s why at Hofy, we offer a globally standardised equipment catalogue. So location does not affect opportunity. 

9. Offer global/round-the-clock support 

When you are a globally distributed company, you will inevitably have team members in different time zones. But if your IT or Support team is restricted to local working hours, they may not be able to support team members when needed.

This can be detrimental to productivity and experience. If a team member’s laptop breaks down, and they have to wait hours for the IT team to come online, they lose hours of potential work time. And if they have to work overtime to make up for it, they lose hours of their own quality time.

By providing 24/7, globally available support, you can minimise downtime when stuff goes wrong, while maximising your peoples’ experience.

10. Work with a global collections solution 

Retrieving equipment from an outgoing employee can be a headache - especially when they’re based in a logistically challenging area. Liaising with a local courier or dropping off their equipment at an access point can be a lot to ask of someone at any time, let alone when they’re leaving your company.

What’s more, the heavier and pricier the items are, the greater the chance of them getting held up in customs. You might not see the retrieved equipment for weeks or months. 

Find a partner with proven capability to collect equipment globally and take this stress off your plate.

Equip remote hires with confidence

Ultimately, there are many things to juggle to equip your remote hires efficiently, as well as enable great employee experiences, stay compliant, and IT secure. But with the right tools and practises in place, your organisation can scale globally, confident that equipment will never be an obstacle.

With Hofy’s global equipment solution, you can deliver and retrieve equipment from your remote teams in 120+ countries, in just a few clicks. And effortlessly maximise your teams’ productivity, with always-on support globally.

To learn more about creating incredible employee experiences with equipment, head to the Hofy website.