I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

Great question. 

I have empathy for the question as it comes from a team that has, as its frame of reference, in-person working. In-person workplaces gain and share knowledge by asking and listening. So how can you possibly “ask and listen” when people are not in the same location?

In an in-person workplace a new person will tap someone on the shoulder and ask:

How do we file invoices here? 
How do we submit leave forms here? 
How do we monitor how we are doing?
How do we…. etc. etc. etc.

And then the new person listens to the answers, learns and hopefully remembers. In most cases this whole process happens synchronously.

Onboarding in remote settings

In highly successful work-from-anywhere teams knowledge is gained and shared differently. In these workplaces this happens by searching and reading – it’s a completely different operating system! The answers to all the “how do we” questions are documented in writing, so that anyone can search for their specific “how do we” question and then read the answer. This can happen asynchronously from anywhere and as a result can easily accommodate individuals in different time zones.

Onboarding in any division across the business is also meticulously documented. (Take a look at this example from GitLab) 

If you are wanting to migrate from a traditional in-person workplace to working from anywhere there are two things you will need to do:

1) Learn long-established remote working best practices 
2) Unlearn in-person ways of working.