woman working from her laptop at home

Starting a new job remotely

Written on September 21, 2020 by Jonathon Webley

Everyone gets nervous when they start a new job – it’s natural. But how nervous would you be if you had to start your new job remotely? The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many people are suddenly finding themselves working remotely – and this has led to a shift in interview techniques and onboarding processes as well.

If you are new to the world of remote working you may be worried about the fact that you will not be able to meet your new manager or colleagues face to face for a while. Or you may be worried about how to get up to speed on your job and who to go to to get any queries you have answered as well.

It’s a fact of life that as the Coronavirus pandemic rumbles on, more and more people are going to find that they are starting their new job remotely. Instead of having a typical first day where they are introduced to their new colleagues, pick up their new equipment and perhaps enjoy a welcome lunch – they find themselves instead of trying to handle all of this from a safe distance.

For those companies that already have a large number of employees working remotely, this won’t seem like a big deal, but many smaller companies are struggling with having their existing employees working from home – never mind onboarding and training new ones.

With this in mind, here are Agile Recruits top tips for starting a new job remotely:

Tip One: Be prepared

There is no one size fits all when it comes to onboarding in the time of Coronavirus. Some firms may mail you a laptop and conduct the onboarding process by Zoom, while others may invite you into the office, keeping social distancing measures in mind, by conducting the onboarding process at a distance of six-foot apart.

It may be worthwhile reaching out to your new employer ahead of your start date to ask what the onboarding process will look like in your case. That way, you can be prepared for whichever route they decide to go down.

Tip Two: Understand what is expected of you

If your whole company is working remotely, then you won’t be able to pop into someone’s office to ask them to clarify something – so be proactive. Take some time to understand what is expected of you, such as what deliverables are due and when your new boss would like them delivered by.

You could also look around and see if there are any processes, systems or tools you need to learn in the meantime – so that you can get up to speed on them quickly. Online training is always a good thing to do in any spare time you have.

You should also be mindful of the fact that your new boss may want to check in more frequently with you than usual when you are both starting to work together. It doesn’t mean that they don’t trust you, just that they want to make sure you understand your role and if you need any help. You can help them by setting clear expectations with them and then smashing your goals.

Tip Three: Learn how your team communicates

The rest of your team have probably been working together remotely since March, so they will have processes in place already – such as their preferred method of communication. Make sure you know what it is so that you can monitor email, Slack, WhatsApp or whatever. This way it will be easier to get to know everyone in the most comfortable way, and you will quickly begin to have faster and more productive conversations with your team.

Tip Four: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

If a coworker sets you a task and you are not quite sure what it entails, don’t be afraid to ask for more information. Schedule a phone call or video meeting with them to run through the details and ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand. This will not only help you to complete the task to the best of your ability, but it will also enable you to get up to speed more quickly and make it easier for you to make a success of your job quicker.

Tip Five: Find work buddies

Reach out to the folks that you will be working with, introduce yourself and see if you can schedule a chat. Talk to them about their role, the projects they are working on, and what they think you need to know about the business – as well as sharing with them what you are working on.

If you find someone who is particularly chatty, expand the conversation by asking them about themselves. This is a great way to build relationships and find your work buddies remotely.

Starting a new job remotely – at a time when your manager and other work colleagues are also trying to get used to working from home – can make it a little more difficult to hit the ground running. It may take you a little longer to feel comfortable at your new firm. Stick with it though, if you follow the steps we have outlined above, you should find the whole transition easier.

If you are looking for your next data role or are wanting to fill a gap in your team, please contact the consultants at Agile Recruit at info@agilerecruit.com