Starting a New Job Remotely: COVID-19 Edition

Have you always dreamed of working from home? Although working remote definitely has its perks, many workers have now realized that there’s a lot more to it than just lounging in sweatpants with your dog.

Starting a new job in general can be scary and a huge life adjustment. However, the first day in a remote position comes with its own challenges. Whether your new job will always be remote, or it’s only going to be remote temporarily due to COVID-19, we noticed that there are two important traits that will bring you success in your new remote role.

Extreme Patience

Everyone is still adjusting to the current norm. Not all companies are experienced with starting new employees remotely, and it’s important that you understand this before you start. Virtual onboarding and training might be a bit unorganized. Maybe you’ll get mailed the wrong equipment. Be patient, and don’t let this alter your impression of the company as a whole. Ask ahead of time how onboarding will be handled, and see if there is anything you can do beforehand to make the process go smoothly for you and your employer.

In addition to this, you and your employer both need to acknowledge that training may take a bit longer than it normally would in the office. Try not to get frustrated with yourself if you’re not picking up new things as quickly as you normally would.

No in-person interaction at the office also calls for patience. Creating workplace connections and getting to know your team becomes more difficult. You may even find that you need to re-introduce yourself over and over on emails and calls as the new employee. Work relationships will form slower than normal, but be patient and stick with it. Initiate video coffee meetings with co-workers to start building that bond.

Ability to Speak Up

Normally when you start a new job, you can wander over to the next office to ask a question. Without that luxury while you are working remote, you have to be willing to speak up and get the answers you need from home.

Ask about training on software.
Ask how your team likes to communicate. Email? Phone calls?
Ask who you should reach out to for help when needed.
Ask to sit in on meetings to get a better picture of who does what.
Ask what to expect when things go back to “normal.”

Most importantly, ask for feedback often. Not only is it crucial that you really understand your role and what tasks you are responsible for completing, but you need to know that you’re doing your job well. Speak up and ask to check in frequently with your manager while you’re learning the ropes to make sure you are meeting all expectations under minimal supervision.

You can’t be afraid to ask the right questions when starting a new job remotely. However, be mindful and respectful of your co-workers’ time. It’s always a good practice as a new employee to try and find the answer on your own first. Use any downtime to search for extra tutorials or webinars that will help reduce questions, and better your skillset for your new position.

If you are starting a new job remotely due to COVID-19, extreme patience and the ability to speak up are essential traits that will get you through these tough times.

Organize your home office before your start date (where are those headphones…?), set strict work hours for yourself, establish amazing work habits immediately and prove you can be trusted to take on this new remote position.