5 Things We Learned from Our First Remote Onboarding

It was the usual “first day of a new job” jitters. I was wide awake before my alarm went off, I drank one anxious cup of coffee and wondered what my new coworkers would be like.

Taking a few slow breaths, I sat down at my kitchen table, opened up my laptop and logged into Slack for the very first time. There were my coworkers, their tiny square pictures all sending welcoming emojis and talking about projects in mysterious acronyms.

Starting a new job in the fall of 2020 is many things, but I can’t write the rest of this post without recognizing the privilege I have of being employed and being supported in working from home.

So how did the online onboarding process go? And what can we learn about new ways of work during a pandemic? Let’s dive in.

  1. Ask a lot of questions — ask questions on Zoom calls, slide into someone’s DMs on Slack or pick up the phone and make a call. There is a certain level of learning that happens when you get to sit in the same room as people who know more than you do. When you’re working from home, you have to build that room and luckily there are lots of online tools to do it.
  2. Google Drive is your friend — having access to all of the onboarding documents in one place, instead of digging through 100 separate emails, made it really easy to find them again.
  3. Team bonding might be awkward, show up anyways — there is no doubt that eating lunch, with strangers, on a video call is super awkward. But how else would I have learned about the great Ottawa bagel shop debate, the latest episode of Trickster or the power of overalls as work from home attire?
  4. Get the right tools — setting up a small desk and borrowing an office chair from MediaStyle made a big difference in my work from home set up. I also added some plants and a cozy sheepskin to spark a little joy in my “office” (ahem, the corner of my bedroom).
  5. It will take time — as it would with any new job. Working at MediaStyle, there are so many things to learn and it is important to take it one day at a time. Keep asking questions, be curious and stay open to the process.

While starting a new job entirely remotely has been different, I can’t thank the team at MediaStyle enough for being such a warm and welcoming bunch. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one day we’ll be able to work in the same space again. Until then, I’ll see everyone in the Slack channels.

Anyone have any words of wisdom to share about working from home or tips for making new team members feel at home virtually? Shoot me a note at vendela@mediastyle.ca, let’s chat!

Vendela Edmonds is a Strategist at MediaStyle

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