Throughout history, there have been many redefining moments. Sound waves, air travel, the internet, smart phones, and now – remote working. If you’re joining a remote team (or new to the WFH hustle), QUT alumnus, Terese Lam, shares eight tips for thriving in your new work environment.
While for many years, some people saw remote working as ‘the next big game-changer’, most companies hadn’t yet transformed their ways of working to facilitate such a change. COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation agenda and the rapid adoption of remote working behaviours.
Due to the pandemic, hybrid-working models are now quite common and allow greater flexibility.
If you’re joining a remote team (or new to the WFH hustle), here are my eight tips for thriving in your new work environment.
1. Start the day like you’re going into the office
When you are working from home the tendency could be to stay in your pajamas. As good as that sounds, it’s not conducive to long-term, healthy work habits. Get dressed in casual work wear to set yourself up for the day. If you need to get on a zoom call, it also means you’ll be zoom-ready (and not rushing to brush your hair!).
2. Be intentional with your home office setup
Designate a workspace that’s quiet, has good lighting, close to a window, and conducive to focused and productive work. While working at the dining table is okay for a work-from-home day here and there, setting up a home office will help you settle into your new work routine.
3. Stay in touch with your team
And I don’t mean by email! Connect with your team and colleagues over video conferencing multiple times a week, especially during your first 90 days with a new company. This will help you connect with your new colleagues and feel part of the team.
4. Use digital tools like virtual chat rooms
We can all fall into the habit of turning off the camera when joining video chats. But face-to-face conversations are key for building effective working relationships. This is especially important for remote workers, as most projects require collaborating with various people and teams.
5. Check your tone
Instant messages (IMs) and emails are quick and efficient ways to send messages, but sometimes the intended tone is lost in translation. So, before you send one off to your team member, it’s a good idea to review the overall tone and choice of words. If you think something might be misinterpreted, use that handy backspace key.
6. Take regular breaks
Did you know we can only focus for sixty to ninety minutes at a time? Taking regular breaks is good for your cognitive refresh. Moving around and stretching also helps keep our minds and bodies healthy.
7. Be curious and ask questions (plenty of them!)
Remote working can be more challenging when you’re new to a company. It requires you to be more intentional in reaching out to your manager and team to learn about the company, the people, and how everything works. It may sound cliché, but there are no silly questions.
8. Join social events
Remote working can be liberating, but for some it can also be lonely. Join social events to intentionally connect with your team and colleagues. One of the reasons people stay with a company is because of the friendships they make. And frankly, it makes work a lot more fun!
More about Terese
Terese graduated from QUT in 1999 with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Business Management and Human Resources. She is Chief People Officer at Wind River, where she leads a global team towards cultivating a culture where everyone thrives to be their best.
Terese has over 20 years experience in human resources, and has lived in Australia, Singapore, France, the UK, and now the USA.