With lots of workplaces still encouraging employees to work from home, it seems virtual onboarding may be around for a while.
I started a new job remotely and have never met any of my colleagues. I love working from home but it’s totally understandable to feel apprehensive about starting a job this way.
If you’re due to start a new role remotely, or perhaps just need to freshen things up after working from home for a while, these tips are for you:
1. Create a routine
It can be tempting to roll out of bed a few minutes before your first call when working from home but try to avoid this! A good routine can help with your productivity and this is really important when you’re new to a role and trying to make a good impression. It’s a good time to form new healthy habits that can stick. As Sanders, a senior director at Talent Inc., says, “It’s harder to build better habits once you’ve established bad ones.”
Waking up early enough to gather my thoughts, exercise and check the news, helped me start the day well when I was new to my job and it’s now become part of my daily routine.
2. Get dressed
Different workplaces will have different dress policies but dressing smartly, at least in your first couple of weeks, can help you get in the right frame of mind. It can help you focus and feel more prepared for work. Smart casual outfits- like polo necks and corduroy dresses- were my usual choices.
3. Set up your work space
If you’ll be working from home for a while, a comfortable work space is a priority. Whether that includes a secure internet connection, an ergonomic office chair or laptop riser, it’s important that you have everything necessary to perform your role effectively. It’s worth speaking to your employer about this and finding out if they can provide any support here. I needed an office chair and laptop riser when I started my role and both were provided for me after speaking to my employer.
4. Switch your camera on
Depending on the work culture, switching your video camera on during calls may be a requirement. Even if it’s not, turning your camera on can help people connect with you during those important first few weeks. It can communicate readiness to engage and can ultimately help you integrate into your team better.
5. Arrange calls with colleagues
If you are keen to connect, schedule calls with other new starters or colleagues you work closely with. Setting aside time, specifically for the purpose of chatting, is a good way to get to know others better. Doing this gave me a chance to open up a bit more than I would have in big group calls.
6. Be vocal
If you have any ideas, share them. Given how unfamiliar and uncertain this period is, employers are likely to be receptive to new ideas. They are learning, just like you.
7. Go easy on yourself
Some things may be harder or slower when starting a job virtually. If you’re feeling disconnected or unhappy with your performance, remind yourself of this. Don’t be too discouraged!