Remote work certainly has its perks, but for many of us it also has its challenges. In this blog series, we’ll focus on the home office, discussing ways to adapt, and conquer—both as an employer and an employee. This is post 18 of the series. You can follow the rest of the series and read our past posts here.
For many of us, remote workdays used to be far and few between. In just a few short months, however, work as we know it has changed. Remote work is no longer a perk, it’s a necessity.
As businesses and employees pivot to support a new norm and the future of the office—job seekers are adapting as well. Interviews are happening over video, onboarding has gone virtual, and new hires are being shipped office equipment and welcome packages to their home addresses.
Many can agree that starting a new job can naturally evoke feelings of nervousness and uncertainty, but the current circumstances pose additional challenges for those starting in a new role. If you’re someone who has been recently hired as a remote employee, here are four hurdles you may be facing and tips for overcoming them.
In-person interactions are highly valued, and for good reason. Face-to-face meetings make it easier to engage in conversation, pick up on social cues, and genuinely get to know someone. For those of you whose only interactions with your team have been virtual—it may be hard to feel like you really fit in. Fortunately, the more you interact with someone—whether in-person, or on video—the more you will naturally get to know them. We recommend being proactive in situations like these:
Tip: If you’re looking for a fun activity to get to know your team’s work personalities, consider suggesting an online test, such as the DiSC personality assessment.
Everyone seems so close, yet, so far away. This might also seem true when you’re analyzing your role and how it fits in with company goals. You know what you should be working on—yet may feel like you don’t truly see how your work is propelling the company forward. If remote work has you feeling a bit disconnected from the big picture, especially as a new employee—start by asking questions and trying to get more involved.
A good rule of thumb is to jot down things as they come up, and make sure you are meeting regularly with both your manager and team to discuss them. This can result in being copied in on more emails, or added to a specific distribution list so that you can stay in-the-know about business goals, changes, new hires, etc. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask to be introduced to key players within the organization, if you haven’t already. This way you can familiarize yourself with who they are and what they do and vice versa.
If you’re just starting a new job, you may not immediately be taking on any high-profile projects. However, there are ways to make sure you are constantly challenging yourself so that you can grow and develop in your role:
Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty with when and how companies will bring their employees back to the office. Will your job remain remote? Will you be expected to eventually be on-site? If you are on-site, what will it be like to meet your co-workers in person for the first time?
As things are continuing to change, you should start considering what your desired outcome to these questions would be. If you’ve come to like working from home, perhaps you want to bring that up to your manager. If you’re itching to get into the office, start asking your co-workers questions about the space so that you can become familiar. And, if you’re nervous about meeting your co-workers in person for the first time, don’t be. Starting as a remote employee actually gives you the advantage to get to know your co-workers from afar. When it comes time to go to the office, you’ll likely already feel comfortable with everyone on the team.
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