Making Your Mark as a New Employee While Working Remotely
While remote working was already on the rise before COVID-19 threw the entire workforce into chaos, it has hit a new and unprecedented level of traction in recent months. As more and more people continue performing their job tasks from home, employees who are relatively new to a company find themselves in a unique position. Gone are the days when you could stand out at the office through face-to-face interactions—whether through the small moments of connection with coworkers over the watercooler or bouncing brilliant ideas off your boss. So how do new employees prove their value when they are not actually in the office? Read on for a few ways to make your mark remotely.
Get your name out there
While it would be impossible (and highly annoying) to introduce yourself to every single employee in your new company via email, you should definitely reach out individually to your team members in order to introduce yourself at the outset. Career Contessa even suggests taking it a step further and contacting any potential mentors, coworkers who hold positions you potentially aspire to, and upper management. The more people who know your name at the beginning, the more likely you will be remembered as time goes on.
Get hands on (from afar)
While you certainly don’t want to pester your new coworkers by assuming they need help if they don’t, you should absolutely speak up if you spot a project that seems to be lagging or a team member who appears to be struggling to keep up. Offering to help (if you have the time and energy to spare without letting your own work suffer, of course) is a great way to establish yourself as a hands-on and eager employee—which is always a good thing, but even more so from a remote position.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
As a remote employee who is new to the company, communication is key. Whether it’s through email, Slack, or some other remote communication platform, the important thing is that you keep in touch. Keep coworkers posted on your project progress, offer up a helping hand on other assignments if the situation allows (see above), and generally just keep an ongoing dialogue with those with whom you work closely. There are ways to do this without being annoying about it, and that is the balance you want to keep. Focus on remaining transparent and communicative, not overbearing, and nitpicky.
Let your personality shine through
Work emails are not the environment or medium in which to start up an intensely personal conversation. However, it can help foster connection with those you work with if you share (a little) about yourself through the course of your correspondence. FlexJobs recommends revealing a bit of information about your family or interests, while also encouraging others to do the same by asking “thoughtful, friendly questions.” Casually asking about weekend plans on a Friday afternoon email, for example, can infuse a bit of personality into an otherwise dry work conversation.
The most straightforward way you can stick out (in a good way) at a new job is by being—and remaining—reliable throughout the uncertainty of the days ahead. Producing quality, top-notch work in a timely manner is really the key to getting your boss’s attention. When push comes to shove, a reliable worker is valued above pretty much anything else—and can prove to the best way to demonstrate your value as an employee.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of working remotely, so don’t despair just because you have to spend the first few months of your new job at home. View this as a further opportunity to get creative when it comes to making your mark and embrace the unique chance this offers you. Once you establish a solid identity through remote work, going back to an office in person (even if it’s only occasionally) won’t be so overwhelming—instead, it will simply feel like the natural next step.