Top tips for making a good first impression - virtually
Job vacancies are at the highest rate since records began in the UK and increasing in the US and Europe. With so much flux in the employment market, many will be starting their new roles via video chat from the comfort of their own homes.
Whether you’re due to start a new role remotely or are hiring a team in the current landscape, making those first impressions can be tricky when you aren’t able to meet face to face. Our top tips will ensure that whether you’re a new starter or are in charge of onboarding, you can make the remote start a success.
Top tips for new starters
1. Don’t be a stranger
It might be hard to meet people when you first start as without a tour of the office, you won’t see your colleagues and get to know them organically. Make sure you get to know the people in your team by introducing yourself via email or video chat. You’ll soon
2. Ensure you have an optimal set-up
A peaceful working environment will ensure you have the best possible start to your new job. Whether you’re working from the kitchen table, a home office, or anywhere you can find space, try to make sure you aren’t disturbed while you’re working or on work calls. It might help to set boundaries so that your cohabitants know your work schedule and will keep the noise to a minimum. If any interruptions do happen, handle it with grace and remember we’re all human – plenty of pets and children have made an appearance on work calls all over the world.
It can also help to set yourself up so that you can easily switch off at the end of the day. Whether you can shut your door on your home office or shut your laptop when you’ve finished work, make sure you maintain a level of separation between your professional and personal life.
3. Get into a routine
If unchecked, working remotely may mean you lack routine which can lead to reduced motivation, and eventually poor productivity, or a working day that spreads into your personal time. With starting a new role, you’ll likely have lots of new systems and processes to get used to so make sure you structure your day to allow yourself breaks and time to shut off. A great way to achieve this is to live your life as if you are still commuting into the office. Wake up at the same time and get ready for the day but instead of sitting in traffic or on the train you can fit in some exercise, meditation or reading before you log on and start working.
Top tips for employers onboarding new starters remotely
1. Keep in touch
Good communication is key when managing team members remotely. It’s especially important to keep in touch with new starters during the onboarding process and introduce them to the people they will be working closely with. It’s best to chat via video call a couple of time per day in the first few weeks and then this can reduced as the new starter settles in. This will give you and your new teammate the chance to iron out any teething problems as they arise and you’ll be able to quickly answer any questions that your new starter might have.
Another great way to keep in touch is to schedule calls with key stakeholders, senior team managers and their teammates in the first few weeks of your new starter joining. This will mean they get to put a face to the names of their new colleagues and will give everyone the opportunity to meet as they start working together.
2. Kit is king
A slow laptop and bad WIFI is a recipe for disaster in the workplace. Make sure your new starters are off to a flying start with all the kit they need for their new role. Check that your new starter has a suitable working environment at home and if you have any concerns, see if you can help by providing an ergonomic office chair, adjustable keyboard, mouse, laptop stand etc. This will make a great first impression with your new teammate and will make sure they can focus on the job at hand.
3. Add a personal touch
If you have capacity, it’s a lovely idea to send your new starter something tangible for their first day. This could be a little welcome package that includes everything they need for their new role (laptop, headphones etc.). You could even include a branded mug, notebook, chocolate, or a postcard from the team to showcase your company culture and really make your new starter feel welcome. These gestures can really help to make your new starter feel like part of the team and is a great way to mark the start of their journey with your company.
Have we missed anything? What are the ways that you have been welcoming your new teammates remotely? Head to our social media to share your thoughts.