4 Tips for Successfully Onboarding to a New Company Remotely
There is always a big learning curve when you start a new job. Not only do you have to get used to a new office, a new team, a new manager and a new company culture, but you’re also learning processes and new skills from scratch.
Needless to say, it can be overwhelming for a while. And that’s in an office where you can ask your co-worker sitting next to you a quick question, go for lunch to get to know your new manager and meet other new hires face-to-face.
So, how do you find success (and not feeling like you’re drowning) when you have to onboard to a new job virtually? We have a few ideas.
As a new employee, it’s expected you’ll have a TON of questions. After all, you’re not used to how things work, and your previous position could have had different responsibilities. But the flow of conversation can be harder to interrupt via video call. So, instead of trying to butt in when someone is explaining something to you, have a pen and paper handy to write down your questions as you think of them. Then, at the end, or in a lull in the conversation, say you have a few follow-up questions.
This is very expected, so don’t hold back. Managers or team members would much rather you ask now than make a mistake. And if you find yourself starting a task and a question pops up that you didn’t think of at the time of training, ask someone! Don’t be afraid of bothering them. Again, you’re supposed to have and ask questions.
With more and more companies working all or mostly remote, it’s likely that they have a company-wide messaging platform. If your manager or co-worker didn’t already, introduce yourself to your team there. It doesn’t have to be in the main chat, but if there is a smaller team or group chat, send a note and include something you like to do or something interesting about yourself. That way, people can get to know you and have something to mention in future chats.
And speaking of future chats, schedule time with the people on your team for an informal meeting. Use video so you can see them, and spend 15 minutes getting to know them like you would if you went for coffee. It can undoubtedly be a little bit awkward meeting someone for the first time over video, but just pretend like you’re chatting to your friend on FaceTime.
Participate in Group Activities
Whether it’s a part of the formal onboarding process or not, many companies are starting to do employee bonding activities fully remotely. While it can be awkward as the newbie in the group, show you want to be a part of the team by participating as much as you feel comfortable. It’s a great way to form a bond with a team member or meet someone from another team. Plus, the more you do it, the more you’ll open up!
Give Yourself Breaks
Your calendar will likely be filled to the brim with meetings, formal and informal, your first few weeks. But don’t let yourself get burnt out. It can be stressful to have back-to-back meetings with new people and a lot of new information. So, when possible, give yourself time in between to collect yourself and your thoughts. It’s OK to ask to reschedule a coffee chat or lunch date. They want you to be successful, and if you’re stressed out that won’t be the case.
So, if you find yourself starting a new job remotely, remember to speak up, ask questions, and be yourself. You’ll feel like a part of the team in no time.