Starting a new job in full remote mode
You might have seen our blog post last week written by our Employee Branding Specialist Dajana Tatar, about running an effective onboarding program in remote mode. Today, we wanted to get a different perspective on this subject from one of our most recent new starters, who joined us when we had already asked all of our staff to work from home.
Gosia Janiak is our new Social Media Specialist and she talks to us about the challenges of joining a company at a time when you can only see your colleagues on the screen.
Congratulations on your new job. You started in very unusual circumstances, when the whole of the 10Clouds office had turned to remote work to keep staff safe during the pandemic. What did your first day look like?
Thank you! Yes, circumstances were, and still are a little bit unusual. On my first day I picked up my equipment from the courier, which in itself was strange. In past jobs, it was ready and waiting for me on my new desk, or had been personally handed to me by a member of the HR Team. Then I had to begin my onboarding process via video calls, which of course the company had informed me about before. Artur, the Recruitment Team Leader called me as soon as it was known that 10Clouds was going to move to a fully remote setup. I had an introduction to the company tools and systems from Dajana, our Community Specialist, who explained our tools and systems, and gave me an overview of the structure of the company. Then I had a series of welcome calls with members of my team and other introductory sessions. In this regard, the only thing that differed from other first days of work was that I was at home and I was wearing more comfortable clothes.
How did you ensure that you still got to know your new colleagues?
Well, fortunately I was given tasks to do very early on. On each of them I had to work with different people, which made it easier for me to contact other employees. I’m luckily an easygoing person who gets on well with people in the real world, so I feel like I’ve already gotten to know my team-mates, although it will be fantastic to meet them face-to-face.
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What have been the biggest challenges for you so far with the current setup?
So far it was, and is introducing myself to every person I have to contact for the first time, before I ask them a question, but I know that this will get much easier with time. Also, everyone has been very helpful and friendly so far, which has definitely eased the situation. The other challenge is getting used to all the new tools, like Jira and timeION – I have never used them before so sometimes instead of asking somebody next to me for help, I have to search for some tutorials. But it teaches me to use my initiative, which is great.
What strategies have you put in place to help you overcome some of these challenges?
I have to be honest that I’ve been very lucky in that both the HR Team and Dajana, our Community Specialist have taken care of all elements of my onboarding so I’ve just made sure that I put these to good use and I’ve actually been able to hit the ground running much sooner than I thought.
I think the key in the first few weeks is trying to quickly understand who you should turn to with various queries, and who is responsible for what. Therefore, I make sure that I ask my team as many questions as possible on our internal messaging tool Slack, and that I don’t shy away from messaging people in other teams directly, if I’ve been told that they are a specialist in a given area that’s relevant to me.
What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on our social media communication strategy. Every one of us has their own unique personality and qualities that make us stand out from the crowd. In due course, I would like 10Clouds to not only have a clearly defined personality on our social media channels, but for all of our followers to be able to name our unique qualities which set us apart from other softwarehouses.
It’s my goal to ensure that it’s not just employees who know about the company’s successes or fantastic new projects. I would like every developer, designer or potential customer who hears “10Clouds” to be able to say “Ah, yes! They have recently created this great product for ….”
A large part of my work is analytics and delving into our statistics from recent months. To create effective social media communications, I know I need to first understand the numbers, because they reveal which solutions are the most effective.
What advice would you give to anyone who is about to start a new job in the coming weeks?
First of all, there’s nothing to be scared of. It’s 2020 and there’s so much work around the world that’s conducted 100% remotely. The tools, processes and years of experience of your co-workers will definitely help you to quickly get to grips with your role. After all, it’s something that’s important to not just you, but also your team. They’ll definitely help you out – either via a video call, an email or a phone conversation.
In addition, you are in a very comfortable situation – you start work at home, a place that you know and love, you do not have to worry about personally getting to know 50, 100 or more people at the same time. And in addition, you do not have to follow a dress code – so make the most of it.