Time has zoomed by since the first lockdown (time to stop using this pun?). With most staff working remotely, our onboarding process looks a little different than before. So, if you’re joining the Pro-Sapien team soon, this blog will help you know what to expect.

Relatively, we’ve been quite lucky. We were able to transition into doing everything from home without major disruption.

Yes, we forgot to take our milk from the fridge; we suddenly realized how spoiled we’d been with three monitors each; and understood why kitchen chairs are not used in offices…

But in fact, we quickly got used to the change and fortunately, our software was able to help clients manage their changes, too.

Furthermore, we’ve even been recruiting during lockdown.

Joining Pro-Sapien remotely

Elena and Caroline, our Software Developer interns, joined Pro-Sapien in June. Calum, one of our Senior Consultants, joined us in October. Like many job seekers, they started their jobs remotely.

Often, onboarding involves a tour of the office, getting introduced to the team, someone making you a nice cup of tea, and a general sense of settling in. However, with lockdowns set to continue, it’s hard to know what to expect from the entirely remote onboarding process.

So, we asked Elena, Caroline and Calum for their advice.

If you’re considering a job at Pro-Sapien or are due to start soon, read on to learn from their experiences.

Q: What was your first day like at Pro-Sapien?

Elena: My first day was quite exciting, I was nervous but eager to start. We had a meeting with the Technical Director, where he explained what would happen the first few days. After that, Reza, a senior developer, took us over how to set up our VMs (Virtual Machines), and environments to start developing. It did take a couple of days to set up but once settled we both started with our respective projects.

Q: How have you found the experience so far?

Caroline: Despite working from home, the internship has been amazing. Working on several different projects has allowed me to explore new technologies and develop features that are important and are being used right now. Working with a team as friendly as Pro-Sapien has helped me settle comfortably into the company.

Q: What has been the greatest challenge of starting a new job remotely?

Caroline: Communication can be harder when you can’t see a person’s face and, in my experience, there is something more daunting about calls rather than talking in person. However, time and social catch ups with the team helped remedy this for me.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working from home?

Calum: The thing I love about working from home is the ability to be present with my family. On average, were I to take public transport, I would lose around two hours a day travelling in and out of Glasgow. I can see the kids off to school with packed lunches in the morning and see them when they come home after.

Working from home also removes the stress (however minor) of timing the start and end of your day around public transport times.

Q: Do you feel like you’re part of a team?

Caroline: Yes, everyone has been very supportive and is always willing to lend a hand, not to mention the social catch ups and regular meetings with team members has allowed me to get to know everyone better and feel like I’m part of the team.

Q: If you could, would you have chosen to do your onboarding remotely or the usual in-person way?

Elena: I would say in person would have been best, to get to know everyone more and then maybe work from home eventually, but either way I am happy that I got the opportunity to try it out in the middle of a pandemic.

Caroline: I think each has its own strengths: working remotely allows you to work in a familiar environment, and in person allows more freedom for social interaction. Personally, I would stick with a remote start as it was a comfortable method to help me settle into the job quickly.

Q: What advice would you give to others who are about to join a company remotely?

Calum: I think, irrespective of starting a role or being in it for some time, you will need to compensate for not being physically present, which can be hard when joining a well-established team. What I find works well is:

  1. Take the time to speak to everyone you can in the first few days – with your camera on. However, make it clear others don’t have to turn theirs on. At first, it’s more about people getting to know you than you getting to know them.
  2. Let people know what you’re about and your values.
  3. Don’t feel you have to be good at everything straight away. I always make this error!
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, particularly the silly ones. Often, questions prompt a discussion on better ways of doing things.
  5. Remember, you’re not an interloper. It can feel you’re being disruptive when you join a team that’s been in place a long time, but you are as much a member as everyone else. Don’t feel you are imposing when you need time with someone to get something right. It’s as important for them as it is for you.

Bringing our core values to everything we do

Pro-Sapien is one of many companies now doing things differently.

Although we were already well-versed in remote work, Calum, Elena and Caroline were among the first Pro-Sapien employees to onboard entirely remotely.  

Hopefully, their positive experiences help you feel equipped to onboard remotely in 2021, be that with Pro-Sapien or elsewhere.

Here, we bring our core values to everything we do—including remote onboarding. 

Let’s end on some food for thought: what if being apart is teaching us new ways to work even better together?

Learn more about Pro-Sapien life with these resources:

Author

  • Irene Zueco is the Marketing and Communications Executive at Pro-Sapien. Irene graduated from Strathclyde University with a Master’s in International Business and Modern Languages in 2018. She has lived in Spain and Italy, but 7 years ago decided to move to Scotland where she currently resides despite the weather. Outside of work she enjoys travelling and good food, preferably paired with a good wine too.

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