Ordinarily, when you start somewhere, you showcased two aspects. First of all, you’d have to prove your professional expertise. However, equally important was the second aspect, i.e., your social prowess. Recent hires would take time and let themselves become acclimated to their new positions. Moreover, they would resist the impulse telling them to make a splash.
Once the pandemic came into our lives, virtual onboarding became the norm. The process can feel impersonal at worst and distant at best. Therefore, you aren’t really playing by pre-pandemic rules anymore. Now, recruiting experts recommend hirees to start collaborating as soon as they get in!
But can you manage such a transition on both logistic and cultural scales? Particularly, right now, when you feel cordoned off? After all, you don’t work in the organizational’s sphere physically. Neither can you sit down with your new coworkers.
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We propose the following steps:
Lay the Groundwork to Successfully Working Remotely
Since onboarding can be a monthslong process, begin by finding out what to expect from it. By that we mean, ask your new employer how things have changed in the light of COVID-19. Then clarify further by letting on you want to know what they’re doing to ensure the success of the new hires.
Next up, is giving the technology you’ll be using before your first day “at work.” After all, you will be working remotely. That means, at the least, you will need a computer and good internet. Take those for a test run before you have to use them.
Generally, an organization will have a communication tool of their preference. Some examples are:
- Microsoft Teams
So, make sure the right one isn’t just installed on your machine. Also, find if you have the latest version. It is better than creating gaps in communication right from the first day!
Finally, in terms of laying the groundwork, have another talk with your new boss. This one should be about the mode of communication they prefer. After all, you won’t have the luxury of the quick office pop-ins like you did before. Now more than ever, constant communication is crucial Therefore, you should know if they prefer their employees use voice messaging, emails, texting, or phone.
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Begin with the Introductions
Usually, when you’re new, you have to introduce yourself a couple of times. To colleagues and the bosses of your boss, and so on. Such brief speeches mention who you are and what you do. Gradually, though, most of your office mates come to know you by face.
Even this process takes longer to happen when working remotely. What’s more, it would require a bit more effort on your part to speed things up. That’s because casual run-ins with colleagues won’t be happening at this time. So, what you can do is add your introduction spiel to any emails you send. Also, do the same when participating in a conference call/video meeting.
You will be helping out people outside your team when you do this.
Learn the Culture when Working Remotely
You’re confident that you can fulfill your professional duties. But those aren’t the only factors determining your survival at the new place. Company culture is a combination of rules – both spoken and unspoken – that define the professional social order within an enterprise. Before, engaging in subtle, meaningful actions would help you work it out. Some examples include overhearing colleagues talking and reading their facial cues, and so on.
Even though you won’t be located in the office physically, you must become a part of the new culture. A big help in that regards can come to you via your peers and junior colleagues. Ask what makes this company a good fit for them. Also, talk about strategies and hacks that will get your work done quicker.
In both visual collaboration sessions and digital correspondence, notice the interaction between your coworkers. Besides that, observe:
- Which team members respond more quickly to messages?
- What kind of language do they use?
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Help Out to Receive Help
Regardless of the situation, nobody really likes turning down an offer of assistance. Demonstrate to your new colleagues that you are willing to help them. Do that, as well as, make your onboarding process smoother.
Sure, you and your colleagues might be working remotely. But you can ask them if they need a hand in fulfilling their daily duties. The sooner you approach them, the quicker you can begin forming work bonds with your work mates.
Forging Connections while Working Remotely
Despite the physical distance, talking to your colleagues is crucial. Though, you cannot wait for the chance for when you can see them face-to-face. Besides being friendly, such a relationship can even affect your engagement towards work positively! Brief phone or video chats can be useful, especially during your first few weeks. Most of the time, the current employees will initiate such a session themselves. Hence, if you get an invite, simply go ahead and accept it!
Working remotely can be challenging. Additionally, when everybody – you included — is dealing with many other stressors, a lot of things can go wrong. After all, we remain smack dab in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. Thus, your ambitions to hit the ground running might not prove true. That said, you can take the proactive steps we mention above and make the transition easier. Throw in loads of patience and some flexibility. Soon, you will have become a member of the team! Want more guidance? Talk to us!