The Remote Employee: Insights, Challenges and Achievements (Part 3)
While working from home continues for much of the country still, in light of COVID-19, we are wrapping up our series about what it’s been like to hire, onboard and help integrate a new employee into our working system at Dynamic. In this final installment, we talk to Trevor, our newest team member, and learn some of his insights on his journey to starting a new job in the time of coronavirus and remote work.
Defining a Sense of Direction
A concrete plan and schedule for new employees to follow is one of the most important parts of making an onboarding experience seamless, not just for remote workers but in-office as well. Since starting at Dynamic, Trevor said he was provided with direction, purpose and meaning, which proved to be an integral part of staying driven, engaged and on-track while working remotely. In addition, he felt he was fully equipped with the materials and technology needed to help him complete his work successfully.
“I have a lot of equipment here to bridge any gaps. Like to upload my social security card and my birth certificate, for example, I have a little handheld scanner, so that helped with the tiny necessary things. The other thing that just made it more seamless [than prior roles] was the fact that technology has come a long way. There are a lot more services in the cloud, like benefits, enrollments, payroll and things that — to a lot of us — are like second nature now because we have internet connectivity beneath our fingertips almost always. So, it’s changing times that have really helped smooth things out, as well as Dynamic’s adherence to a lot of the technology that’s on the cloud,” said Trevor.
Maintaining Effective Communication
In spite of the challenges that many people may experience when starting a new job — without the typical, daily in-person interactions that accompany most jobs — Trevor said one of the key elements that has helped make his experience successful is the consistent communication with his manager and fellow team members.
“At the start of my day, my manager meets with me, and at the end of my day, my manager meets with me, and it’s a very good conversation. Also, Microsoft Planner has been a big help — helping to structure the types of focus that my manager would like me to start with. And being able to have Microsoft Teams right here — where we can jump back and forth between chat or video — that’s been really helpful because in previous roles we used Slack, which was mainly just chat-based. And while that’s good to keep, to pass back and forth information between employees, having this video conferencing system is a whole new thing. Fifty years ago, if you said we were going to have this now, where we could just dial each other by video, people would’ve looked at you like ‘that’s crazy,’ like something out of Star Trek. But we’re doing it right now, and it’s our reality,” he said.
Maximizing Opportunities Despite Challenging Times
The current pandemic has disrupted the way so many companies conduct business, even taking away business altogether for some, so, understandably, job seekers, new hires and others in the workforce would have concerns related to the status of jobs.
Trevor said, “Despite the fact that this has been one of the strangest times in history with COVID, Dynamic has been there to keep me reassured and updated throughout the hiring process. Because I was sending emails like, ‘Do you guys even still want me?’ and it was all crystal clear. My manager even dropped my computer off at my porch. He was very humble, very gracious. It was awesome. And they even included a backpack from Dynamic with a note from the president talking about the essential business, and all that stuff really helped me get going.”
Leveraging Valuable Resources
Utilizing specific tools and resources has been a critical part of Trevor’s daily routine at Dynamic. He has been leveraging Lynda.com, or LinkedIn Learning, to complete training modules in preparation for the more in-depth work he will do surrounding specific projects once he begins work in the office.
In addition to modules for SCCM and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, Trevor has been experimenting with using Yammer as a social networking communication tool within the company. This has been a hands-on way to experiment with different platforms and avenues for conducting project-related communications among teams.
Interacting with the Team
Today, we can’t walk up to our coworkers’ desks in the office and engage in typical workday conversations, but this doesn’t mean that interactions with our team members have become less frequent or important. In fact, these interactions have become more critical than ever, even from afar and through digital devices.
“The all-hands meeting on Mondays and Fridays have been really helpful to see the dynamic that Dynamic has,” said Trevor. These meetings are designed to provide a welcoming team environment to share updates and keep one another informed on the business and other significant news items.
“All of those things contribute to an overall positive vibe that I’ve been getting, and it makes me really want to express my desire to contribute in other areas when needed outside of my position. I haven’t ever really felt this comfortable with a job this quickly before,” Trevor said.
“This has been an outstanding and unexpected time to switch jobs, and I’m just really glad that Dynamic’s been there for me in the various areas. I never thought I’d be coming onboard virtually, but everything worked out.”
While COVID-19 has left the world with plenty of questions, this experience has provided Dynamic with one clear answer: the effectiveness of our team isn’t dependent upon working location — rather, it’s dependent upon the skill, dedication and engagement of our people.
“When I am expected to come into the office physically, there’s not going to be a secondary period of awkwardness. It’s going to be me jumping right in, just in a different format,” said Trevor.
Overall, Trevor’s experience joining our company during one of the most unprecedented times in recent years has been enlightening for everyone at Dynamic. It has helped shine a light on where the future of work is headed, reaffirm our core values as a company and underline the fact that connecting as a team is what keeps us going.