Many companies are currently adopting virtual onboarding processes for new finance and accountancy employees. Here's our advice for successfully starting a new job remotely.
With new duties, new colleagues and new expectations, starting a new finance and accountancy role can be a nerve-wracking experience even for the most experienced professionals. But what if you’re starting a new job remotely?
Due to health and safety measures designed to reduce the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, many employers are making use of virtual interview and onboarding processes. So, if you’re starting a new job in the coming weeks or months, there’s a good chance you will be doing so from home.
Because of the unique challenges associated with virtual onboarding and the likelihood that members of the GAAPweb audience will experience such processes, we decided to put together this guide on how to start a new job remotely.
Find out about your onboarding process
First things first: reach out to your new manager or a contact in HR to find out what you can expect from your upcoming onboarding. It may be that your new employer is already used to welcoming newcomers remotely, or you may find that they are still finding their feet. Whichever way it turns out, you will feel more confident about starting a new job from home once you know what to expect.
Create a workspace that works
In order to perform at your optimum, you need to create a workspace that works for you, and this is especially important if you’re expecting to be home-based permanently or for the foreseeable future. Make sure you have all the equipment and technology that you need to work comfortably and efficiently - your new employer may provide a laptop, desk, chair etc. so double check before you spend any of your own money.
Introduce and reintroduce yourself
The start of any new job often requires many introductions, and when you’re being onboarded remotely it may take even longer for yours to become a familiar face. If your manager doesn’t send around an email introducing you to the team on your first day, it’s a good idea to send one yourself. It doesn’t need to be too detailed: “Hi, I’m Emily and I’m the new Management Accountant. I’m looking forward to working with you all!”
For the first few days, it may be necessary to reintroduce yourself with your name and job title when contacting colleagues via email or speaking on a video call.
Learn the team structure
It’s important for you to learn who does what job in your team so you know who you can turn to and ask for help when the need arises. You should also find out about contacts in IT support, HR or any other department who you may need to speak to or work with.
Make sure you understand your role...
Unlike in the office, you won’t have your manager around to gently nudge you in the right direction or any colleagues to whom you can ask off the cuff questions. So, once you start a new job remotely, it’s imperative that you know everything you can about your goals and how you’re going to achieve them. If anything about your role or responsibilities is unclear, or even if you just need to double check something, make sure to ask.
...but be flexible if your responsibilities change
Although it’s key to know the duties of your new role, it’s also important that you are flexible and open to the possibility that some of your usual or expected responsibilities may change temporarily while everyone continues to get used to working from home.
Adapt to your team’s communication style
On your first day, find out which channels of communication are used by your new team to make sure your transition into the department is smooth and that you don’t miss out on any information. Make a note of which communication tools are favoured by the different members of your team - for example, if a quick question needs resolving some people prefer an instant message over a phone call.
Ask all the questions
When starting a new job remotely, it can be easy to interpret a brief incorrectly. If you want to make sure you deliver great work on time, you should be asking as many questions as possible. Each time you’re set a new task, arrange a quick call to find out more about your role in the project, what the priorities are and what you need to achieve.
Start to build relationships
It’s important to start building relationships with your colleagues as soon as possible. We suggest reaching out to the people in your immediate team and inviting them to 1-to-1 or team video calls to introduce yourself and get to know each other. Ask what they do in the team and about the projects they’re working on, but also find out about any hobbies and interests you can bond over. Try to make these informal catch ups a regular occurrence.
Remember to switch off
We get it. It’s your first few weeks on the job and you want to impress your new boss and colleagues - this desire can be even greater when you’re starting a new job remotely. However, you can only deliver your best when you’re maintaining a good work/life balance. Make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day, start and finish work on time and turn your email notifications off over the weekend.
Good luck to all finance and accountancy professionals starting a new job remotely in the coming weeks and months!
If you are ready to start your job search, check out the latest finance roles, accountancy positions and part-time accounting jobs today on GAAPweb.