Starting a New Job: Remotely

Company Culture

Starting a new job is a lot of things.

It is exciting, it is scary, it is nerve-racking, and can feel overwhelming at times. It is, indeed, a roller coaster of emotions. 

When I got hired at Top Floor, I was thrilled. I had just graduated college and was looking forward to starting my professional career. When my first day rolled around, of course, I had all of the normal first-day jitters and thoughts of:

  • ‘Will my coworkers like me?’
  • ‘What is the work culture like?’
  • ‘Am I prepared for this position?’ 
  • ‘What if I mess up?’

I pushed all of these thoughts aside and began my first day… at my make-shift desk located at my kitchen counter.

I knew I wouldn’t have the traditional first day at a new job experience. Due to the pandemic and following safety precautions, the Top Floor team is currently working from home, which meant the onboarding process would also be remote. I was fully prepared for this, and I was provided with the equipment and supplies needed to succeed. 

Although I was prepared, starting a new job is challenging in itself, and starting a new job remotely can be extra challenging. But this is the new normal, and adapting is part of the process.

I am now two months in and have learned a few things along the way. 

So, what is it really like to start a job remotely? 

Here are 4 things I have learned these past few months and some tips that have helped me along the way.

Onboarding will be different

Since you aren’t going into an office every day, your company will most likely supply you with the tools and equipment needed to successfully work from home. Once that is set, the onboarding process will begin. You will still have first-day introductions, but they won’t be face to face… something I was completely fine with.. (I despise ice breakers.) You will be introduced to the company’s technology and tools, and get familiar with the company culture and basic workflow. You will quickly learn that Slack, Zoom, and Google Meet are your new best friends and where you will be communicating with the rest of your team for the most part.

There will most likely be a specific person who will be onboarding you, and they will be the main person of contact you can go to for any questions. It takes a little getting used to communicating virtually, but never hesitate to reach out.

The training process will consist of a series of training sessions, video calls, and exercises that you will carry out for the next month or so while receiving regular feedback and having check-ins with your manager until you are ready to take on tasks on your own.

Get familiar with the company’s technology and tools

Make sure to get familiar with the technology and tools you will be using to seamlessly work from home. Ensure you have access to your company’s systems, including email or chat, project management, learning modules, and anything else you will be using from day to day. 

The more confident and comfortable you are using these, the easier it will be for you and your team.

Learn your co-workers’ communication preferences

Communication is key when you are working from home, and everyone has a communication style that works best for them. It is important to find out how everyone prefers to communicate, so you know whether to monitor your email, Slack, or another channel your team relies on. 

Acknowledge the learning curve

Starting any new job can seem discouraging at moments. There’s a lot of new information to take in, and it doesn’t help that you can’t nudge your co-worker for a quick refresher. You will have questions, you will be confused at times, and you might even think, ‘am I right for this role?’

Acknowledge the learning curve. You are new to this, and it will take some time to learn the ropes. If you feel lost, reach out for some assistance – your team wants you to succeed!

Wrapping it Up

We have all had to adapt in one way or another over the past year, and I feel very lucky that I have the opportunity to work for Top Floor, even if my office may be at my kitchen counter. If you want to learn more about Top Floor and how the Effects of 2020 have changed the way we work, check out this company culture blog.