When starting a new role, a typical first day might consist of meeting the new manager, picking up equipment, learning the names of co-workers and working out where the mailroom, toilets and printers are. But if your new job is remote, how will you get to know your colleagues, get up to speed on your role, or know who to contact when you have questions?
Here are a few ways to make your first remote day on the job a great success.
Understand the onboarding process
Reach out ahead of time to your line manager or HR to find out what onboarding will look like. They might take you through an induction on your first day via Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams, or maybe email you an employee handbook. Make sure you discuss the logistics of the onboarding process beforehand and understand what to expect.
Practise the “route”
Usually, you’ll be able travel to the location of your new office before your first day to make sure you don’t run into any issues or get lost. Similarly, on a virtual first day, log on early to allow yourself plenty of time to familiarise yourself in case of technical difficulties. Make sure all the appropriate software is downloaded ahead of time and you know how to use the technology.
Pay attention to your presence
Your first day will probably consist of at least one virtual meeting with your manager or team. While you may be used to working from home in casual wear, do dress professionally to make a good first impression. Pay attention to your virtual environment and try to minimise external noise.
Find out how your team communicates
It’s important to learn how your manager and the team prefer to engage with one another. Do they rely heavily on email, or do they utilise video or voice calls? Do they use internal networks to keep in touch? With your manager, does he/she like to receive queries as they come up via email, or tackle everything in a weekly call? Knowing your colleagues’ communication styles will help you integrate quicker and foster more positive interactions.
Make yourself known
When you start a new job, you’d usually be introduced to many people in the office and learn what they do. You’ll bump into new people in the elevator or the pantry and forge new relationships that way. Forming relationships is likely going to take longer and will require more effort when everyone is working remotely. Let people know you’re the new person via your internal networks, or by sending short introductory emails to those in your division. If there’s a team meeting, find a moment to introduce yourself and your role. You might need to remind people who you are when contacting them by email or on a conference call.
Find work buddies
Proactively reach out to your teammates to get to know them better. Set up a virtual coffee chat to find out about their roles, the projects they’re working on and anything they think you should know about the organisation. Share any questions you might have and ask for recommendations on other colleagues you should get to know in the company.
Seek out opportunities
The pandemic is causing workplace disruption and situations are changing at a rapid pace. Try to identify opportunities where you can add value, then reach out to offer your help and suggest new ideas in meetings. Think about the additional value you can bring to the business.
There’s no doubt that this is a difficult time to transition into a new role. But by being proactive, patient and flexible, you can smoothly integrate with your new team and prove your worth to the organisation.