The pandemic has significantly increased the number of fully remote job interviews, and with no surprise, even after getting an offer, your onboarding process will likely be virtual. As a new employee, let’s check the 5 points on how to avoid the workplace communication challenges you may face when working from home.
Remote onboarding becomes the norm
With remote work more widespread than ever, hiring and onboarding new employees fully virtually has become the norm for many organizations. You may even end up joining the new-hire orientation or initial training sessions without having physically met anyone from your new office. In the absence of social interactions at the workplace on a daily basis, how can you communicate with your new managers or colleagues effectively?
In the pre-pandemic era, you may have been fortunate enough to have your trainers or senior teammates come by your desk to check how things are going, or even help you with every step of the onboarding process.
Now, you are assigned to the new team, introduce yourself virtually at the team meeting, and then proceed to start working online by yourself. You know what you have to do, but may soon find it hard to figure out who to ask what, and feel easily reluctant to speak with your virtual teammates. As a new remote employee, communication and collaboration skills are more important than ever to succeed at your new company.
Be proactive! 5 points on how to communicate effectively with your team
The key to effective communication with your supervisor or teammates is to confirm the basics -with whom, by what medium, and when to communicate -on your first day of joining the team.
Keep in mind that what you normally did at your previous workplace may be totally unexpected to someone from the new office; some organizations ban the use of LINE or other chatting platforms as a way of workplace communication, while others actively utilize the resources.
In working remotely, it is important to prepare for potential communication barriers, so learn the 5 points on how to develop effective communication with your team as a new hire.
・Check what date or around what time your supervisor gets busy
・Ask whom to ask questions when your supervisor is out of office
・Confirm when and how to provide your status report
・Discuss the desired scheduling and outcomes for your project
・Confirm how the company will respond to an emergency
When asking these essential questions, make sure of the means - either by emails, by online meeting, or by a sharing tool that your company uses - to share the necessary information with your team as well. The key is to be proactive so as not to excuse yourself by saying that you didn't know or you were not told.
Your success depends on how it begins: keep your profile high
The current calamity has impacted most businesses across the world by forcing companies to make a sudden shift from in-office to remote work. Remember, it’s likely that new employees are struggling to adapt to a work from home model more than existing ones. For the past year, the company you are joining may have experienced a trial and error transition with the current employees who understand how it went as well as the nuance in practice.
Implementing and managing a successful work from home policy takes some time to pass on to new hires. Thus, the new work from home culture at the company is sometimes invisible to them, while current employees tend to overlook what new hires don’t understand. Remote onboarding is a new challenge to the company as well, so it would be nice if you can take down the problems you have experienced during the adaptation so as to share with your team for the convenience of future employees.
Your success depends on how it begins. If you have more questions than you normally would, that’s fine. Asking questions can make you seem proactive. By trying to reach out to teammates and showing your desire for development opportunities, you can keep your profile high and seem valuable to the teammates.