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5 things to look out for when joining a team remotely

4 min read

5 things to look out for when joining a team remotely

Jostle's first remote hire, Jaden, looks back at her co-op experience to share the greatest lessons she has learned as well as ways to integrate into your new remote role.

Over the past eight months, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of Jostle as their Digital Marketing Coordinator. This experience was a first for all of us on the marketing team. It was my first co-op work term, my first time being remotely onboarded, and Jostle’s first time remotely onboarding someone (no pressure at all)!

Despite the many firsts that marked my experience with Jostle, it was a smooth transition, and I felt welcomed from the very start. From the moment I first opened my Jostle intranet to find “welcome videos” from the marketing team to sharing new ideas I had with others, I felt valued and included since day one.

While this co-op experience has been anything but ordinary due to the sudden shift to remote work, I still feel I’ve been able to experience the essence of Jostle, and I wanted to share some of my takeaways from my time here. 

Remote onboarding

As a university student just getting my feet wet in the working world, I was concerned about the prospect of my work term being remote indefinitely. How would I get involved with people I’ve never met? Would I learn as much as I would if I was working in-person?

In the beginning, there were some challenges as I learned to navigate the daily platforms and tools the Jostlers use to work. However, through trial and error, I was able to get into the groove and know where to find various information.

What I quickly learned about Jostle is that the key to our team cohesion and communication is our own product; the Jostle intranet. This made it extremely easy to get up to speed as I could access all the necessary documents for me to review and reach out to others in the company, all from one place. Talk about efficiency and ease of use!

Company culture

Before working at Jostle, company culture was simply something I learned about in a textbook. I could tell you how an HR department works to build a strong culture in a theoretical sense but couldn’t speak to how it actually feels to work within a company that sports positive culture. 

That quickly changed when I arrived at Jostle. Despite not being in the office, I could tell from the very first team Zoom meeting that I was part of a company that was oozing with a welcoming demeanor. 

The Jostlers are kind and inviting people. No matter what your question is, everyone is always open to answering. And when you’re here to learn the ropes of the “real working world,” this is truly a blessing. 

As a co-op student, and frankly, simply as human beings, we’re all bound to make mistakes, and I was grateful to know that Jostle treats these as opportunities to learn, not to condemn. This made me realize that in order to allow your employees to thrive, you have to give them the chance to fail and learn. If your employees are too scared of messing up that they never try something new, your company will never reach its full potential. 

Without a doubt, I’ve been able to grow at work because of the inclusive company culture that all Jostlers work hard to create together.

Co-creation

Jostle loves to preach its love of co-creation, but you may be wondering if they really walk the talk.

Co-creation is the practice of drawing on the ideas and observations of others to make well-rounded and informed decisions. Coming into Jostle without much working experience under my belt, I didn’t have the confidence to speak up in a meeting and feel that the team would consider my opinions and thoughts. 

Very early on, I found my colleagues were asking for my opinions on their current approaches. It made me realize that my views and perspectives could add value in decision making and empowered me to speak up more in meetings to contribute.

Ultimately, this made me reflect on what benefits co-creation brings to the table. I’ve realized that co-creation can empower those around you to speak up, allowing teams to develop the best possible solutions and make everyone feel included. 

Workplace bonding

Jostle values not only working hard but also getting to have fun. Whether it’s planning a book club, discussing things like mental health in a Tea N Share, or playing a game of virtual Pictionary, the Jostlers are always looking for ways to connect on a personal level.

With work being remote, it was undoubtedly a challenge to get to know my co-workers better. Still, I‘m grateful that Jostle focuses on these culture-building events as it helped me feel more involved despite being physically separated.

5 things to do if you’re joining a team remotely

Onboarding isn't something that is “done” to new employees. It’s a process that all parties have a part to play in. As a new employee it’s your role to focus on getting up to speed and making the most out of your experience. Being Jostle’s first remote hire gave me the opportunity to help shape my onboarding experience, so I thought I could share some tips that I picked up from my experience.

1. Have 1:1s with your team 

When I first started, I focused on meeting with other department heads to understand what other parts of the business do and also my direct teammates! Since I was working remotely, I didn’t have the same ability to get to know my teammates “around the office” organically, so this let me understand their work and get to know them more on a personal level.

2. Reach out for clarification

When you first start at your new job, it can be confusing getting up to speed. Where do messages live? Where does your team manage projects? Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask! Maintaining open communication is the key to doing your best work.

3. Routinely ask for feedback 

It’s essential to know how you can improve your work. And you don’t want to wait until you’re leaving the company to hear it. So routinely check in with your supervisor to see if there’s anything you can improve upon in your work to keep growing as an employee and do the best work possible in your role.

4. Speak up! 

It can be intimidating speaking up as a new employee, but remember that you can bring fresh eyes to a meeting. Share your thoughts! Being remote might even help you to get over the jitters of speaking up in the boardroom.

5. Go to the big meetings 

Here at Jostle, we have weekly Heads Up meetings, where team members from each department hop on a call to give updates on what’s happening in each department. I made the commitment to go to all the meetings as it allowed me to understand all aspects of the business on a weekly basis. I recommend joining sessions like this in your new organization. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn!

Final remarks

All in all, my time at Jostle has been everything I could’ve hoped for and more. It has shown me the importance of company culture, communication, teamwork, and that everyone has a unique part they can play within a company.

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