This month I have started a new job, but not in a conventional way. Due to the current climate and global pandemic, I have had to start my role online and virtually meet my team and other colleagues joining at the same time as me. This has been a strange experience and not one to forget! I must admit I was apprehensive, and this was a worry not only for myself but the other graduates starting in my cohort have also found this a struggle. But here is the good part, I have now experienced it. I am here to tell you it is okay and to share my knowledge with you and my top tips!
Firstly, I want to start by saying try not to hide behind a camera and put yourselves out there. Not doubt your team and colleagues have sorted some form of virtual induction for you. In your downtime when you are thinking of things to do try to find out as much information on the company and learn the new systems that you will be using – in my downtime I explored our intranet site and tried to keep learning about what the business is currently doing and what its ambitions are – that way you will be ahead of the game and impress your manager!
Now I know what you are thinking, “what about actually meeting people?” It is all well and good me doing all this research but how can I share it and how can I connect with others? Try and find a buddy or a mentor at work and ask them to help you set up meetings to virtually ‘meet the team’ and if you are starting with other colleagues maybe have a new start call – this worked well for me and we had informative calls and also social calls of us all getting to know each other – both are important and your manager should appreciate that you need time for both.
Another important step about working from home is your comfort and work environment. I can’t say mine has been plain sailing – I sometimes have to work on my bed, or the sofa and also at the dinner table – but you need to create a space and make sure that it is giving you the best comfort. I use a comfy pillow, a laptop tray table and luckily have been given great technology equipment by my company such as a wireless headset and mouse. These are things you may need to invest in, I might need to invest in a good comfy chair so make sure you speak to your manager about this as there may be reimbursement options or equipment loans schemes.
Lastly, rest! You might think this is an odd concept to think of whilst you are at work but rest breaks away from your desktop or laptop are critical not only for your physical body (posture, eye strain etc) but also on your mental productivity. I recommend that you diarise breaks during the day to make a tea/coffee, get a proper lunch and perhaps even a walk around the block to stretch your legs. It is essential to have good health otherwise you won’t be able to work at the best potential I know you can. So please do take some breaks!
Here are my essential top tips for working from home:
- Stand out – Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you can’t stand out and show your enthusiasm – try and go on webcam as much as possible in the meetings to show your face and be engaging.
- No question is a silly question – ask away! Trust me I asked so many questions over my first two weeks and will continue to do so – you will benefit in the end and might not be the only one thinking of the question!
- Enjoy the experience – this is such a unique experience and a story to tell later down the line in your career so make it a good one!
- Try to interact – make time to meet your team and other colleagues, for example, organise virtual coffee catch-ups or getting to know socials etc. You can still have fun at work and make it enjoyable!
- Be the best version you can be – be happy, engaging and positive even in these unusual circumstances – you will feel better and create a good working environment for yourself.
I hope this helps and good luck in your new or existing roles!
You got this 😊
“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” George Lorimer