Whether your new hire is beginning the job in person or remotely, the first day sets the tone for their entire work experience. Walking into a new situation (whether literally or figuratively) is daunting for anyone; doing so without guidance may make them feel like you—as the employer—don’t care. Want to make it easier for them to come to the office confident and prepared to be successful in their role? Then consider sending this checklist of things to bring with them (or have handy) on their first day.
12 Items for Employees to Bring On the First Day of Work
In a post-pandemic world, the checklist you provide new hires may look a little different than it did even a year ago. Our own checklist below now includes a few additions that apply to both employees who work in physical office buildings and employees who work remotely, in any capacity. Feel free to distribute the list below to your employees!
What To Bring On Your First Day Of Work
1. Identification. This includes a driver’s license, passport, or other federal photo I.D., which you’ll need to show your HR representative on the first day of work. The INS website lists the appropriate acceptable documentation employers may use to verify an employee’s identity and authorization to work. For remote workers, a visual ID is appropriate to show to the computer screen for verification purposes with your employer.
2. Social security numbers. Bring your own SSN as well as the numbers of any dependents or beneficiaries you may have. You’ll need these when answering questions about benefits.
3. Tax filing preferences. The 2020 federal tax form is gone! New employees should study the 2021 Federal Tax Form W-4 and be prepared to fill it out on the first day. Review and read it to make sure you know how you’d like to fill it out. You can read or watch the IRS’s tutorials and ask your employer if you have more questions.
4. Emergency contact information.
5. Automobile information. For parking purposes, be prepared to provide your vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number. (If you work remotely, this doesn’t apply!)
6. Bank account information for setting up direct deposit. In the past, employers recommended bringing a voided check, but this is no longer a best practice (with online banking being used for direct deposits and online bill pay, paper checks are becoming obsolete especially in the younger generation). Instead, have access to your online bank account information, including the account type and the associated routing and account numbers. .
7. A good lunch and snacks to get you through the day.
8. A notepad and pen to take notes.
9. Questions. Ask questions throughout the day, (A note for employers: It is helpful to provide an FAQ document made by existing employees that proactively answers the questions a new hire might be reluctant to ask in person.)
10. A home office. Make sure your working environment is neat and clean.
11. A company banner may be provided to employees for use on video calls (something like this one). Make sure it’s lit appropriately and set up for all virtual meetings.
12. Appropriate attire.
Pro tip for employers: Do everything you can to eliminate or reduce paperwork on an employee’s first day. By having employees sign paperwork electronically, either on their first day or before they even begin, you’ll save time. You should also be sure to introduce your employee handbook and have it signed by the new hire. (Virtual copies are the easiest to manage and archive.)