Have you secured a new role recently that is commencing on a working from home basis? Or maybe you're currently on the job hunt and noticing many positions offering a remote working opportunity? In fact, according to LinkedIn's recent studies, job searches that include remote working options have increased by up to 60% since March this year, with many organisations opting for a digital workforce from now on.
Whatever your situation, it's beneficial to know how to successfully start a new role whilst working from home from getting to know your fellow co-workers to highlighting your best soft skills. As you can probably imagine, starting a new job remotely can be very different than starting at the office, and your new employer may even be new to it too.
In this blog, we share our advice on what you can do to start your new remote working role successfully.
Prepare your 'home office'
Identify an ideal spot for your new home office, somewhere that is quiet, comfortable and which receives good light. Take some time to set up your tech and workspace around you, ensuring you have all the hardware essentials required and of course a stable internet connection to prevent slow bandwidth and delays. If you've never experienced a remote working role you may not have a webcam, but don't fret, most video calls can be conducted via a tablet or mobile phone. You should double-check that you have the correct software or apps downloaded and that they are working effectively, to ensure your first few video calls go smoothly.
Whilst working from home, you will probably find that you are sitting for longer, without the need to pop over and chat to colleagues or attend meetings in a different room. With this in mind, it's vital to ensure you have access to a comfortable seat offering sufficient back support. You may even be offered one by your new employer if you do not have one already, if not don't be afraid to ask!
Grasp an understanding of tools and training materials
Whether this is your first job after university or a new venture in your current career, there will always be new tools and platforms to get used to that you may not have come across before. Unfortunately, popping over to ask help from a colleague won't be possible, so it's important to remain pro-active and intuitive to ensure you are learning these new platforms and processes the best you can. This will not only impress your new employer, proving that you are a quick learner and extremely diligent but it will also allow you to get ahead of the game when you start to use them.
Once you know the ins and outs of your new technology, you should dedicate some time to completing any training materials and onboarding documents that your employer has shared with you. This is a great way to familiarise yourself with company policies and get up to speed on home working procedures they have adopted.
Interact with your new co-workers
It's hard being the newbie, especially when you can't meet your new co-workers in person! Gone are the days where you would get to know your co-workers by conversing at the kettle or meeting them on the stairwell, especially if you're working from home! But don't let that stop you getting to know who you're working with on a work and personal level at your new job.
Let your co-workers know that they can give you a call or message any time - be open to your colleagues dropping you a quick phone call or instant message to have a chat! If you're feeling confident, why not invite them for a virtual coffee over video chat to break the ice and get a feel for the company culture?
Remember that everyone starts somewhere, and most people don't start a new job from home so don't be afraid to ask questions throughout the team, no matter how silly it is. The more you create conversations with your co-workers the more likely you will build genuine working relationships with them. You may even request a mentor for the first few weeks, who can support you in your early projects and provide feedback to help you get into the swing of things.
Focus on your soft skills
You're unlikely to be tasked with large projects and high-profile responsibilities on the first week of your new job, so this is the perfect time to show off your soft skills to your employer and co-workers before you're able to impress them with your hard skills. Show them that you are proactive, eager to learn and that you have a positive attitude towards your new venture.
One of the key soft skills to highlight is your positive attitude towards your new role, in a time of uncertainty and stressful time make sure you're being enthusiastic, confident and friendly to your new team. Even though this may be harder from the comfort of your own home, your co-workers will enjoy seeing a fresh face and feel more relaxed if you are. Emphasise that you are a great team player and maybe even offer to join one of their video calls to shadow or observe what's going on.
As well as getting on your co-worker's good side, it's important to show your new employer a strong work ethic. Make sure you are logging on in a timely manner and attending video calls when required, this shows you have good time management skills and are dependable. You should have a strong focus on short-term goals at this stage in the game and prove you can meet deadlines. Managing your own workload effectively is a fantastic soft skill to have and employers will appreciate your independence, willingness to learn and your organisational skills.
Starting a new job can be nerve-racking, especially remotely, but remember that you won't be alone, and employers will appreciate that this type of onboarding can be more challenging than the usual! Keep your home comforts around you, manage your time effectively and put your soft skills at the forefront to help you ease into your new role.
If you're interested in starting a new job remotely, check out our advice on how to achieve a successful video interview.