As more companies are moving to remote work, new employees will likely to be having their onboarding remotely.
You’ve done all your shopping and have setup your very own remote ergonomic home office.
Starting your new job working from home and getting your welcome and training done from afar can make you feel quite lost.
Going to your new job prepared will help you to build both professional and personal relationships with your manager and coworkers.
“Give yourself time to adapt and become comfortable in this virtual environment.”
Here are some tips on how you can prepare for your remote onboarding at your new job!
How do you prepare for Remote Onboarding at New Job?
1. Celebrate your new job
Congratulations! You’ve are starting a new job!
Getting a new job is not always easy, you’ve spend countless hours crafting your resume/ cover letter and sending out countless applications to potential employers.
These feelings are normal, your new colleagues in your new company feels the same when they first started their first day at work.
Instead, you should celebrate your success in landing a new role.
Do not doubt yourself or your capability of performing in your new job.
- Write out a list of your top skills, so you can refer when you are in doubt of yourself.
- Understand your area of strength, so you may know what you can do best.
- Understand your area of growth, so you may know which area to work on to improve your productivity.
“Start a new job with a growth mindset!”
2. Set up your remote work office at home
With remote onboarding, you new role will probably allow you to do most of your work remotely at the comfort of your own home.
If you do not have the luxury of having a dedicated room for your home office, you can steal some recommendation below.
Make some simple physical change to the space where it will become your home office.
- Add a potted plant on your “office table”.
- Change your curtain to simulate office environment.
- Change the configuration of your furniture.
Make some subtle change to the work space:
- Add soft ambience office sounds or white noise.
- Change the scents of your work space with fragrance of essential oil.
“If you work on your couch, your home is your office”, says A.C.
Make your “office space” at home different, so you can concentrate better at work, and relax better after work.
3. Start your preparation early
Preparation is always the key to success, this applies to remote onboarding at a new job as well.
“Remote onboarding starts before your first day of work.”
Most companies prepare their new employees by sending them information about the company’s culture and project information up to 3 weeks before your first day of work.
Having most of your work activity virtual, there will be a lot of reliance on technology.
Some companies may sent you your personnel work laptop to get you started weeks ahead of your first day of work.
Here are some preparation to get you started:
- Watch all videos and information sent by your company.
- Understand your company’s culture and how they work.
- Setup your infrastructure such as internet to allow you to work from home.
- Find the idea spot for your “home office” with good connection to the internet.
- Setup your “work space”.
- Setup the administration items with your company so you can log into your laptop on your first day of work for the onboarding process.
Start your preparation early, so you may make a great first impression on your first day of remote work!
4. Meet your manager “live” and understand expectation
Understanding expectation from your manager is an important milestone of your remote onboarding process.
With most of your work performed remotely, it is essential to get a clear picture of your duties and responsibilities.
You’ll want to have an in-depth talk with your manager to understand about their expectation for you in your new role.
- What does your manager hope to achieve in the next 3 months of your onboarding?
- What does you manager wants you to achieve after a year of you being on the job?
- What is you boss’s priorities and how you can help him/her achieve it?
By asking these questions, you will get to understand:
- Organization’s value.
- Team’s objectives.
- Individual’s goals.
“Show you are willing to do what is required to be done and your passion to grow with the company.”
Establish your own time frames for training, projects and milestone and stick to it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or request for resources.
It is much more acceptable to be asking for guidance during your first 3 month onboarding at your job, than 1 year after that.
5. Get Introduced to Know Your Coworkers and Know Your Work Buddies
Getting started is probably the hardest part of onboarding.
And getting to know new colleagues during your remote onboarding will probably be essential if you want to succeed in your role.
You may consider asking your manager to sent out an announcement that you’ve join the team along with a warm message from you.
- You will love to have a welcome video meeting or phone calls to get to know your colleagues better.
- What are your contact details, such as phone number, email.
- A little information about yourself, such as your hobbies and your passion.
Get your organization chart or your team’s work page. Know the faces and names of those whom you will be working with.
They may or may not, reach out to you and say ‘hi’.
But you can certainly reach out to them and make a quick self introduction and letting them get to know you.
If you find someone who is chatty in the call, try chat with them more and ask them about themselves.
Building rapport with your team virtually means to share experience and asking questions beyond your job scope.
- What do you like to do during your weekends?
- What is your hobbies?
- What is your favorite book or movies?
If you find a colleague whom you feel comfortable talking. Invite him/her for a virtual coffee and get to know each other better.
Having a great work buddy will help you integrate better into the team.
Just because you don’t see each other face-to-face, doesn’t mean, you can’t build a great working relationship with your coworkers in a virtual environment.
6. Make Virtual Introductions Yourself
“Hi I am John! I’ve just join the team today, nice to meet you!”
A simple “Hi!” will makes all the difference between make a great first impression, or giving the impression of being cold and distant.
This is especially important if you are in a virtual environment where you are physically far away from each other.
Getting to know your team will take more effort as there is basically no small chat at the printer or bonding over a cup of coffee.
Use at least 30 minutes each week to spend some time for pure networking.
- Setup a meeting and get to know each other.
- Setup a group chat so you can talk about stuff other than work.
Do these with people whom you’ll work directly; your peers, your manager or those that will be reporting to you.
“Don’t assume your manager or anyone in your team will help you in building your network.”
Take initiative to talk to your work buddy, your peers and your boss.
Send introductory emails or plan a virtual happy hour or coffee break to build your network.
Building great relationships early will establish a foundation for long-term success in your career.
Template – Introducing Yourself Virtually with Email
My name is [My Name], and I am [Your Role] from [Your Department].
I [Compliment about the recipient].
I am reaching out to you today because [The reason why you are contacting her].
I wish to [Your objective].
Thanks for your time and great to meet you!
[Your Contact Information]
Example – Introducing Yourself Virtually with Email
Hi John Smith,
My name is Jane Pan, and I am a new training coordinator from the Training and Learning Department.
I heard you are amazing in your presentation skills!
I am reaching out to you today because we are thinking of getting a great presenter to help train our new hires on their presentation skills.
I wish to have a the honor to invite you to be our trainer and hope we can talk about the details of the training over a cup of virtual coffee soon!
Thanks for your time and great to meet you!
(+213) 111 222 33
Template – Introducing Yourself Virtually on Phone
“Hi [Name], I am [My Name], [Your Role] from [Your Department]. Nice to finally talk to you.
I heard that [Compliment about the recipient]. And I am reaching out to you today because [The reason why you are contacting her].
I wish to [Your objective].
When will be the best time for you?
Example – Introducing Yourself Virtually on Phone
“Hi John, I am Jane Pan, a new training coordinator from the Training and Learning Department.
Nice to finally talk to you!
I heard that you are amazing in your presentation skills. And I am reaching out to you today because we are thinking of getting a great presenter to help train our new hires on their presentation skills.
I wish to have a the honor to invite you to be our trainer and provide valuable advice to our newcomers.
Hope we can talk about the details of the training over a cup of virtual coffee soon!
When will be the best time for you?
7. Learn how your team communicates
As we move our work into a virtual environment, learning how to communicate effectively with your team becomes all the more important.
Find out how everyone prefers to communicate.
- Should you email?
- Should you SMS?
- Should you give a phone call?
- Should you sent instant message using the corporate chat system?
- Should you setup a video conference where you’re able to see each other?
Each teams have different work culture and preference in choosing the communication channels.
“We prefer using video conferencing for most of our meetings so that there is more human interaction which allows us to bond more as a team,” says Janice.
Always keep in mind that communication that is not done face-to-face are often misinterpreted due to the lack of tonality or visual cues.
When issue arise, offer a phone call or a video conference to sort out the issue immediately.
Relationships are build on great communication and trust.
Getting the sense of how your team communicates will make it much easier for each other to build positive and productive interactions.
8. Get Feedback
Feedback is the best way to uncover the needs and wants from your manager or your coworkers.
Talk to your manager on a routine basis, and provide feedbacks on your training, your projects, your progress and your development.
Talk to your colleagues and understand from them their work and how you play a role in the team’s overall goal.
Make feedback a part of your work culture, as it prevents miscommunication and provides a checkpoint where you can resolve any issues early.
Feedback can be provided in many ways:
- Join “Ask me anything” sessions
- Employee survey
- One-on-one meetings
- Tier meetings
- Performance tracking systems
If your company does not have a feedback system. It will be great, if you can initiate the meeting with your manager.
Having feedback, can help you to get the right help when need with your onboarding process.