Apr 7th 2021

In talks with Deel: Top tips for joining a remote team

We all know that starting a new job is no walk in the park. But when joining a remote team, you are faced with a whole new set of challenges. You have to overcome the lack of face-to-face communication and find ways to settle into your new role, without ever having met anyone. But with 60% of the UK population currently working from home due to the covid-19 pandemic, you are not alone in this. 

We recently spoke to Anja Simic, Head of Marketing at the global payroll platform Deel, for some top tips on how to survive your first week joining a remote team.  

Dive into the onboarding material 

Any company worth joining will have its own survival guide in its onboarding program for new employees. Whether it’s a handbook, set of documents, or a slide show, this is your initial onboarding.

Your new employer has put this together because it has everything they want you to know before you get started. It’s harder to just tap someone on the shoulder and ask them a question when joining remotely. Take the time to read everything as it will likely have most of the answers you need, as well as any important actions you need to take. For example, they may want to sign you up to payroll platforms such as Deel, which allows you to work anywhere and get paid the way you prefer.

Take as much in as possible 

Go above and beyond the onboarding deck you were given and take a dive into information that gives you an insight into the company’s inner workings. 

Anja says, “Starting a new job can be overwhelming but being proactive and taking in as much as possible has many benefits. You will learn about the company, its product and get to know how the team ticks.”  

Here are three examples of how: 

  • Read through team chats. This will help give you an insight into how people communicate and how the team operates as a whole. It will also help you to feel more connected to your remote team members. 
  • Ask your teammates what they wish they’d known. Current employees have been through it all and can be a fountain of knowledge for advice about the challenges and expectations you will face. Don’t limit yourself by reaching out to your department. Identify a few team members from other departments and learn from them as well. Make the most of finding out what you can from them – it will even encourage team building
  • Ask anything that pops into your head. No question is a silly question, especially when you are fresh to a team. Asking for help or clarification is a great way to understand something better and is vital when everyone is separated from working from home. 

Network from day one 

“Reaching out to people is a great chance to introduce yourself and get to know your team on a broader level. It can even lead to making virtual friends or thinking of new ways to collaborate.”

It’s hard to make friends. And it’s even harder when your only interaction is through a screen. But before you decide to just turn to adopt a new furry friend, try out these tactics for building relationships with your remote team: 

  • Make the most of communication tools. Every company will use different platforms for communication. Whether it’s Slack, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams, learn how to use them fast and book in a few introductory calls with people throughout the company. 
  • Work at your local coworking spaces or coffee shop. Join in on days where people meet up to work in person together. Nothing quite beats a face-to-face interaction to build cross-team bridges to help you settle in.
  • Invest in your community. Get involved wherever you can. Some teams use pairing tools such as ‘donut’ for random virtual meetups and there will no doubt be virtual socials to encourage a strong culture. These are great ways to get to know people outside of work and to get stuck into the overall great company culture. 

“We recently introduced Donut at Deel. It’s a great tool that connects you with other team members, giving you the opportunity to have a chat on non-work-related topics. You can learn so much about the other person that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to otherwise.”

Establish communication expectations

Managing remote teams has its difficulties and your colleagues or managers might not always know what you’re up to, so make sure you say it to encourage effective team management. This doesn’t mean sending endless email threads, but instead, find clear and concise ways to keep everyone in the loop. This will help you to settle into your role and establish your place in the team, feeling great job satisfaction. 

“Being part of a global team does come with a few challenges, especially if you’re located in different timezones. Communication is one of the most important pillars of a successful team so be sure to bring your A-game so nothing gets lost. When in doubt, overcommunicate.”

Keep a daily diary 

It’s easy in the office to get someone to solve a problem for you by going over to their desk. But when you’re fully remote, your email or Slack can get lost in the noise. So a good trick is to write everything down so that you can then go back to it at the end of the day. You are less likely to remember the unique things about your new workplace, writing down the events of your day while they are fresh in your mind will help you overcome this. 

  • Write down the tasks you accomplished and also the obstacles you faced.
  • Highlight any issues that remain unresolved to come back to.
  • Raise those issues or questions with your manager or a colleague when you next get a chance. 

It’s never easy being the new joiner in a company. And it’s even more difficult when you are joining a remote team. But by being proactive, you will learn to navigate the world of remote work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help where needed and to throw yourself into the company culture. It is a whole new journey but with time and effort, you will find the flexible working rhythm that works best for you and become a remote working whizz.