First Day…. Not in the Office? 3 Ways to Build Virtual Collaboration

A year ago, I never expected I’d be working in an AI Innovation department. But, I think that past me would’ve been even more surprised to find out that I’d be starting from my dining room table!

A month in, I’m getting used to balancing working from home during the pandemic. Here’s 3 of my top tips for communication and teamwork that I’ve learned from starting my new tech role remotely:

  1. My gold question for new connections: “What’s the best way to contact you?”. When you’re networking online, and meeting various people across the organisation, it’s important to remember that everyone has individual preferences. I’ve found it invaluable understanding the best way to communicate with different members of my team to ensure the most efficient and quick responses.
  2. Not everything needs to be a video call. Zoom fatigue is real. If you have opportunities in your day, depending on the situation, see if your coworker would be open to a regular phone call! After the first week, my mentor and I switched to having our weekly catch up over the phone, meaning we can get out for a walk whilst we discuss the week. This helps me to be more open and relaxed during the conversation, as well as adding some variety to my day!
  3. Don’t be afraid to schedule in time when you need it. Usually, you’ll have access to your colleagues’ calendars. In the office, if you were struggling, you’d give someone a tap on the shoulder. Working remotely can make support feel less accessible, so it’s important to be proactive about seeking guidance. It’s difficult for your team to know what your day looks like, so get into the habit of reaching out!

Any first role is already challenging, and it’s important to recognise your resilience and adaptability! Your team will also want you to feel comfortable and confident in your new role, so feel free to discuss the above when you’re onboarding. Good luck!

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