I’m sure at this point, none of us are strangers to remote work. While working remotely is a convenient option, it also comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to the onboarding process. Sometimes, as a new employee, it can be easy to feel disconnected from your team and to feel overwhelmed by your new responsibilities.
To help new (remote) employees navigate this process, I’ve put together a list of tips for remote onboarding. From setting up your workspace to building relationships with your teammates, these tips will help you get off to a great start in your new role, even if you’re working from home.
Let’s dive in:
- Meet your new BFFs
This is the first on the list because it’s arguably the most important - your teammates are the ones who you will be spending so much of your time with (virtually), and can make your experience so much better (speaking from experience).
It can be challenging to build relationships remotely, but it’s important to make an effort to get to know your colleagues. Schedule some virtual coffee chats or meetings with them to introduce yourself and learn more about your team and their roles. Use this time to ask any questions you might have and to establish some expectations for both collaboration and communication.
2. Build your Toolkit
Make an effort to get familiar with the communication and collaboration tools that your new company is using. These can be anything from video chats, messaging apps, new softwares, or other digital tools.
It can be a challenge to learn something new, especially when something else has been the norm for so long, so spend some time learning how to use company-specific tools effectively. I know that when I got a new job and switched from the Google Suite to Microsoft, it was an adjustment, but it was so much smoother because I made an effort to navigate the platform and build a new toolkit!
3. Set up your WFH space
Make sure you have a dedicated workspace that is conducive to your productivity and has all of the equipment and tools necessary to perform in your new role. A lot of companies that offer flexible and remote work environments offer their employees an allowance to make sure they’re fully set up to work from home! Take advantage of this and make sure you’re set up for success with a workspace that you will enjoy working at everyday. Some game-changers for me: a laptop stand, a wireless keyboard, and a good desk lamp!
4. Organization is your Best Friend
Onboarding can feel very overwhelming, especially because there is so much to read, so much to learn, and so many people to meet. Do your best to stay organized by taking notes and making lists to stay on track and have everything you may need to refer back to readily available to you. Be sure to keep track of the progress you make and any deadlines that are given to you so that you’re able to stay on top of your tasks and meet or even exceed expectations.
5. Develop a Communication Plan
Work with your manager to establish a regular communication plan, including scheduled check-ins and updates on the progress that you’re making in your new role. This, coupled with the relationships you are building with your teammates, will help ensure that you stay on track and can ask questions and ask for help when needed.
In my experience, during my first week, it was really helpful to chat with my manager about communication expectations, preferred methods, and to schedule recurring 1:1 meetings so that we could catch up and reflect on my progress.
Final Thoughts: Onboarding remotely has its challenges and definitely requires an open mind, but by implementing these tips, you’ll be able to navigate the process successfully and with confidence. By making a conscious effort to stay engaged, stay organized, and be communicative, you will be able to establish a strong foundation for your remote work experience, and be a phenomenal new addition to your team. I hope you enjoy WFH as much as I do! Wishing you nothing but the best of luck as you prepare to onboard remotely.