Tips for remote on-boarding

Jonah Czernejewski
Human Resources Administrator

During these unprecedented times, it is not uncommon to see many professional institutions adapting the “remote worker” business model. For many years, what used to be looked at as somewhat of an abnormality and almost unheard of, has now become a new on-the-rage trend. Working from home not only ensures the safety and well-being of others, but allows for business operations to remain fully functional as well. So, you’ve either been offered a remote position or are seriously considering one for the first time. What does this mean for you? What can you expect at the beginning? Let’s break it down into a couple different parts.

Understanding the on-boarding process may be a little different.
Traditionally, upon accepting a new position, one would undergo what’s commonly referred to as the “on-boarding process”. This may include paperwork, a background check, drug test, etc. Since you’ll be virtual, a lot of the initial pre-employment instruction will come to you via phone or E-Mail. Make it a priority to have the means of accessing both on a frequent basis to ensure a smooth start without complication. If completing paperwork electronically is not your thing, make sure you have access to a printer. Always be sure to plan ahead.

Understanding your team and how they communicate.
It’s not as easy as it was anymore to walk over to someone’s office for a quick question or conversation. Since face-to-face interaction is limited with remote work, you will find that your coworkers have their own ways of adapting. Sally may communicate primarily over E-Mail, while Mike likes to pick up the phone and actually talk to you. Even though you may not be used to this at first, you’ll quickly come to realize that having more than one form of communication can become extremely useful.

Get used to communication platforms (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype).
Whether it be during the interview process, training/orientation, company meetings, or team events, you’ll probably find yourself using one of these communication platforms somewhere down the line. It wouldn’t hurt to stay ahead of the game and familiarize yourself with the different features these programs offer. This will help when it comes time to turn on your webcam and microphone, so you’re not sitting there like a deer in headlights.

Ask questions, stay involved, be productive!
Nobody is going to be perfect when starting a job remotely. A lot of the habits and routines we’re used to are derived from physically being in an office. There’s going to be times where you’re not sure what to do or where to seek guidance, and that’s okay! We learn from trial and error which is what makes us human. Work with your leadership team to ask the difficult questions, learn the processes and procedures, find the streamlined solutions, and become a natural at what you’ve chosen to do! A great leader is not one who can command others to follow, but gains followers from leading by example.

Although it’s been a very unusual year in many different regards, one could say that the silver lining through it all is the increased demand for remote workers. Don’t let the uncertainty of a new environment shade your path when it comes to working from home. You’ve made it this far, why turn back now?