Before the Covid-19 pandemic, you would be forgiven for thinking that remote working was a fallacy, that it was not possible let alone sustainable. But here we are having spent most of 2020 working from home, remote working has now become the new normal.
Working from home is set to stay for the foreseeable future with organizations rightly remaining cautious in prioritizing employee welfare over a desire to return to how things were. Even though, the unemployment rate has surged worldwide, there are still a significant number of individuals who have started new jobs during this period and are yet to even step foot in their office, how surreal is that!
These individuals may have gotten the job pre pandemic but only started amid the kerfuffle. Imagine how unsettling it can be to take on a new job with new responsibilities, new colleagues and a seemingly sense of isolation. Because that is what remote working is; the ability to work independently with no direct support from your colleagues.
Now, this can be a virtue for those who are well-versed with their roles, not so much those who are starting out. When one starts off at a new company, they are unlikely to want to ask a host of questions for fear of appearing dependent or incompetent. They would be all the more crippled during remote working where guidance and direction is not as comprehensive as it would normally be.
Learning the ropes while remote working requires the individual to be intuitive of what is expected of them in terms of corporate culture, task completion and scope of work. It is certainly more difficult to learn a new role while confined at home but it is definitely possible by bearing a few things in mind.
Make a clear formal introduction
When remote working, the opportunity is lost to make an introduction to showcase gravitas and presence. Be mindful of creating such an opportunity of your own. Some companies may not even have a formal meeting to welcome new recruits and if so look for opportunities to introduce yourself to colleagues and especially the bosses.
It is imperative to not get lost under the cracks and be a name that people see but are not acquainted with. People usually notice the new face around the office but obviously this is not possible in this instance. You will need to take the first step, introduce yourself individually to your new colleagues. This is a crucial step to kickstart your working relationship in the most optimal way.
These essentially replace daily meetings that would usually take place in the office, it is important to have such check-ins to glean more insights of what the organization's expectations are and to get a sensing of what the corporate culture is like which will help you better assimilate.
Such check-ins mimic the short interactions that you would normally have with your fellow colleagues on a day to day basis in the office. Hence, these conversations need not be any longer than half an hour. Take the opportunity to ask questions of your role, their expectations and how the company operates. It is also wise to build a rapport with not only your boss but your colleagues. The key to every successful working relationship starts from that.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
As previously mentioned, many are scared to ask for advice or guidance when they start a new job as they fear looking like they are out of their depth. It is a fair thought process, however it is also important to note that sometimes it is better to ask what you are uncertain of rather than make a mistake as a result of your own stubbornness. Not asking about something you clearly did not know reflects much worse on you.
People are usually much more willing to help than you initially thought. Everyone loves a willing learner, someone who is humble enough to ask for help and is meticulous enough to take advice on board. Do not wait for offers of assistance but rather approach others as and when help is needed. It will make the world of difference in settling into the new role.