How to successfully onboard as a new remote employee
Congratulations! You have just been hired. But you're worried because you're fully remote joining an already established team. Don't worry. Here are some tips to help you onboard and ensure that you are fully integrated into your new team regardless of your location in the world.
Schedule one-on-one meetings
Meet with as many people as you can one-on-one - both your peers and your managers. This can be informal. Get to know each person beyond their name. Learn about their hobbies, likes, dislikes. Get insight into their role in the team, their challenges, successes.
Turn on your camera
Your team needs to see you. Yes, Zoom fatigue is real and being on camera can be exhausting, but this is a crucial step you can take to help your team understand who you are. Once you have developed a rapport and flow with your team, going on audio conference calls should become acceptable.
Listen and learn
Your job right now is to listen to others speak and absorb as much knowledge as you can. It is not yet time for you to try to change things. That will come later as you begin to earn your team members' trust and responsibilities are assigned to you.
Take notes and documentation
You will be bombarded with information. Take lots of notes and organize them as best as you can. Document the stakeholders in your project. Understand the issues that they may have been or are currently dealing with. Understand any dependencies that your team may have with other teams inside your organization. Learn how best to work with each other.
Give yourself some time
Don't rush. Most companies offer an onboarding process that gives you some leeway to learn about the company, its products and/or services, and its history. Even if your new company doesn't offer an extensive onboarding process, take your time in learning and exploring as much as you can.
Remote employees are becoming more normalized. Perhaps you are joining a fully distributed team or you are one of a few remote employees joining a mostly in-person team. Either way, these steps are sure fire ways to build trust and respect with your team. Take your time, write and keep excellent notes, and use all communication methods at your disposal.