- Adapting to remote work as an incumbent worker is one thing, but staring remotely from day one can be even more challenging.
- Bob and Nick Slater outline six approaches to work that can help new remote hires be successful.
- It’s critical to not let the screen and distance become a barrier to asking for help when you need it.
Last year, a major challenge for companies across the globe was rapidly shifting teams from in person to remote work. Now, a year later, many companies have continued to keep employees out of the corporate office and are instituting permanent remote or hybrid work policies.
Adapting to remote work as an incumbent worker is one thing, but what about new remote hires? What can new employees do to ensure they are successful in their new role when they are working remotely from day one?
In their new book, Look Out Above! The Young Professional’s Guide to Success, Bob Slater and his son Nick Slater outline six approaches to work that can help new hires be successful whether their new job is remote or not.
“Remote work can magnify some of the more difficult experiences people encounter any time they start a new job,” says Bob Slater, a former trial lawyer and business professor that also helped build two national real estate companies. “You’ll be placed in situations where you must perform before you think you’re ready. You may need training that isn’t provided, forcing you to learn on your own and improvise as you go. You may have to meet expectations you weren’t informed about. All of this can happen even if you’re in the office. If you’re working remotely, you may want to just throw up your hands.”
The Slaters advice for new hires is to focus on the following approaches to increase the chances of succeeding, making connections, and fitting in at your new workplace.
A deep-rooted belief in yourself is critical when undertaking a new role, especially when you’re working remotely. Nick Slater, an attorney, entrepreneur, and writer, says “You need to believe in your ability, judgment, and equal right with others to achieve and enjoy success.”
Accepting risk speeds the learning process. “Those who put themselves in challenging situations discover more quickly what works – and what doesn’t – and how to adapt,” Bob Slater says. For remote workers in particular, it is important to not let being on one side of a screen act as a deterrent to diving right in to your new job and any challenges that come with it.
Resisting the urge to take shortcuts, overcoming the temptation to give up when faced with difficulty, and pushing through failure are all important for success in a new role. “Keep pushing yourself and expect some failures. Everybody fails, especially those who take risks. But a failure, if you learn from it, can move you closer to success,” Nick Slater says.
“Remote work forces you to hone your ability to adapt, and that’s a good thing because being able to adapt is important regardless of the job situation,” Bob Slater says. Adapting is about doing something differently when what you’re doing isn’t working. “It’s not merely plowing forward, but going forward with a new plan,” he says.
5. Get help.
Remote work can make it feel harder to reach out, particularly to those you don’t know in the company well yet. However, Nick Slater says it’s critical to not let the screen and distance become a barrier to asking for help when you need it. Surround yourself, even virtually, with others that you can learn from, and whose mentorship can help hold you accountable to your goals.
6. Give help.
“Reach beyond the screen to give back as you go,” Bob Slater says. Take the time to encourage others and congratulate people when they perform well in their own jobs. No matter how far along you are in your career, use your talents to teach and coach others.
The Slaters emphasize using these six approaches to help you grow in order to become better at a new job, or more generally, to become better at anything. These soft skills are even more important for remote work, although they apply to any new or existing role, whether that role is in the office or through a screen.