Starting a new job is always a bit nerve wracking, from remembering where everything is, everyone’s names, and just the new commute can be enough. If you’re starting a new job during this time of the coronavirus, then you have different things to worry about. Teleworking sounds easier if you take in the commute, but there are other possible trip-ups that can make life for you harder. Here’s what they are and how to tackle them:
On-Boarding Will Be Different
Since in-person meetings aren’t a possibility, find out what method you’ll be using (Zoom? Skype? Long phone calls?) and then be sure that you have that technology set up ahead of time, and that you know how to use it. There’s no worse way to start your first day than trying to explain that you haven’t downloaded the app or figured out how to log into the preferred system. Be proactive and test it out ahead of time!
Remind Them Who You Are
If you were in an office, everyone would meet you and shake your hand, and remember your face and name. “Meet Tim! He’s starting in your department!” You’d shake Tim’s hand, see where he’s working compared to where you sit, and you’d get used to seeing Tim every day. Maybe you’d see him at the water-cooler or in the lunch room. The point is that you’d get used to seeing Tim on your team.
Unfortunately that’s not an option at the moment. Working from home doesn’t have that same advantage that constant familiarity through sharing a workplace does. People may not remember who you are, because you’re not mentally part of their team yet. The team might not have been ready to work from home when you joined, so they might be adapting to a variety of changes. All of this means you may have to introduce yourself more than once. Before stating your question or comment, just mention your name and that you’re new. For example: “Good morning, It’s Tim, the new guy! I’m just checking in with you to see if…”
In a face-to-face interaction, you receive all the extra information: tone of voice, facial expressions, and all of the body language. In an active office, someone could pull you aside and let you know what particulars you’re missing from your latest project. None of this is available if you’re getting your assignments through email or a phone call, so be sure to really reach out to clarify any particulars that might have you stumped. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information or to ask a colleague to jump on a call with you.
This is a stressful time for everyone, with nearly everyone’s routine shaken up. If your new workmates aren’t used to working remotely, there can be all different kinds of technical glitches as well. Try to keep an even tone and to stay patient when responding and working with your new team. Take it slow and steady and you can help the team succeed.
Everyone is bound to hit some speed bumps when starting a new position, but doing it remotely can feel even more difficult. Be sure to use these three crucial steps to get yourself through it!
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