With most of the UK workforce working from home, onboarding new employees has changed dramatically. Starting a new job means meeting everyone online and the elimination of the workplace structure.
Working remotely is not a new concept, but there are some employees who have never worked from home before. With organisations now looking to remotely onboard new employees, some may find it more challenging than starting a role in an office.
This blog will explore the considerations you should make so that you can be an essential member of the team and acclimate quickly to your new role.
One of the first things to consider is finding a good working environment within your home, with minimal interruptions and maximum concentration. It doesn’t have to be an office of your own, just a place that is yours, that you can leave at the end of the day.
Work-life balance is crucial to our mental health, but it’s impossible to completely maintain during the lockdown, so you need to compartmentalise and use indicators that let you know you’re either working or not working i.e. a desk for work use only.
Your company should send you all the resources you need, including computers, keyboards etc. but you need to prepare your home for the increased and prolonged use of technology. You may need to upgrade your broadband or the capacity of your own computer, for example. Your electricity and internet bills will rise, but there are tax reliefs for that, so look into how you can claim money back for the increased cost.
Find out what platforms your team is using and how they want you to share your work or collaborate – then familiarise yourself with these systems and processes. Your routine may depend on that of others going forward. Get acquainted with their system in the first day or two so you can start contributing as quickly as possible without mishaps – this may require seeking out the best person in your team to be ‘on-call’ for any support.
When you’re in an office environment, it’s more likely that you’ll have casual conversations with your new colleagues in the vicinity. Now, you must make an effort to get in contact with them. You will likely have an introductory team meeting over Zoom, MS Teams or other software, but to get to know people better, you should be proactive. Aim to set up meetings with everyone individually, to find out who they are, what their role is, how you can support them – and also a bit about them outside of work.
Most new starters, especially if they’re new to the industry, will need a lot of support and your team will expect you to ask for help rather than figure it out alone. Utilise the technology to keep in touch with your manager and colleagues as and when you need to. There will always be someone in your team who can help you out, but you need to ask. Find someone who can help you connect to others you need to know in the organisation.
When anyone starts a job, you must first learn what your boss and team expect of you, and what you should expect from them in turn. Part of getting to know your team and their roles is learning what you will need from each other. You might find that your boss is checking on you a lot to begin with, but that will lessen over time as you build their trust by meeting or exceeding their expectations.
Ask if there is anything you need to learn more about and aim to build your skills as you work – there are so many online resources and courses to choose from, it’s good to ask for some recommendations. Gaining relevant skills will benefit your team as well as yourself.
Communication is one of the most common soft skills that employers look for – others such as flexibility, resilience and time management are also highly desirable, especially during the lockdown. Having a good attitude, being eager to learn, and offering to do more to support your team will help you stand out as a valuable team member.
Part of being proactive is having your own opinions and ideas, and sharing them in order to help the team. This may take a while to get right if you’re just getting the hang of things, so no one will expect perfect solutions right away – but if you do have an idea, don’t be afraid to share it because it may spark others’ creativity. The worst that can happen is they say no. It’s better to make mistakes and ask questions at the beginning so that you can learn and grow.
You may be working from home for a long time, so make as much effort as you can to stay professional, stay connected, and make a good impression.
If you’re still searching for your next remote role, or a talented candidate to share this information with, contact any REED office via phone or email.