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I started my first job completely remote. Here’s how I formed meaningful relationships with my coworkers and stood out when I didn’t know anyone.


May Teng

Summary List Placement

It’s been over six months since I joined Insider, and while I live a few subway stops away from the company’s New York office, I’ve yet to set foot inside. There’s no designated seat for me in the office. I haven’t even met any of the coworkers I work with every day. 

I came onboard as an editorial fellow writing for Business Insider’s strategy section in July. It was my first job after graduating college. My first shiny work laptop. And my first byline at a digital media publication. But there was just one first I wasn’t quite as eager about: first remote job — and one where I didn’t know anyone. 

Since then, though, I’ve come a long way from trying to learn all the unfamiliar names on the company roster. I’ve gotten to the point where meeting new people and chatting with them virtually has started to feel natural, and this has played a huge role in feeling comfortable at a new company — so much so that I didn’t hesitate when I got the offer to stay at Insider as a full-time reporter. 

Forming connections with colleagues is a crucial part of the work experience. When we get along with our coworkers, we have better mental health and are more productive. But as companies like Google and REI begin to shift to long-term remote or hybrid remote working models, more new hires like me will have to learn to form bonds with coworkers through a screen. 

Starting a new job remotely is intimidating. But for me, and the rest of my graduating class of 2020, it’s become the norm. I’ve commiserated with friends over the struggles of the Zoom introduction, the monotony of work day, and how strange it feels to roll out of bed and immediately clock into work. 

There’s probably no virtual replacement for a conversation by the water cooler or having a coworker stationed across the hall. But I’ve taken advantage of the screen time I do get throughout the workday to build meaningful work relationships.

Read more: 8 tips to nailing a video job interview in the age of coronavirus

Overcommunicate

On my very first day of work, my editor gave me a piece of advice that I’ve taken seriously: don’t be afraid to overcommunicate.

In a physical office, I wouldn’t think twice about leaning over to the person next to me to troubleshoot a technical issue or asking for a second opinion on a headline. But when I’m forced to type out the same thought, I have more time to second guess myself: should I be asking this question? Would it be too complicated to explain over Slack? 

There’s some validity to this; sometimes it only takes an extra minute to find that you can solve a problem yourself, so it can be worth thinking twice before asking something. But I’ve also learned that, by consistently asking questions and making sure to clarify, I’m also learning more about my team and what they value.

Source:: Business Insider

      

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