- Starting a new job remotely could become the new norm, with some surveys suggesting that two-thirds of companies expect employees to work from home long term.
- Celonis’ new COO Arsenio Otero joined the tech unicorn from cloud computing giant Salesforce in the middle of the pandemic.
- Otero shared his five tips on starting a new job remotely.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Starting a new job can be stressful even in normal times. Joining a company without meeting your new colleagues in person or visiting the office makes the prospect even more daunting.
But, with two-thirds of companies set to be working for home for the foreseeable future, many of us will have to start new jobs remotely.
One person who knows what this is like is Aresnio Otero, the new COO of enterprise software firm Celonis.
He joined the $2.5 billion startup in the midst of the pandemic in May, to help grow it into the “next big IT company.”
Otero has plenty of experience in the computing space, having previously served as COO of Salesforce’s international business. Over the last 9 years he has helped Salesforce become a cloud computing giant with a market cap of $179 billion, growing revenue from the low hundred million dollars to multi-billion dollars.
Here he shares five tips for anyone else starting a new job remotely:
1. Use virtual interviews to your advantage
“The interview when you are virtual gives you some advantages. I think that it gives you the opportunity to really show things in reality, more than talk about things,” says Otero.
He advises using it as an opportunity to show physical evidence of your previous work, leveraging the digital interview setting by sharing examples on your screen or sending links to your interviewers.
To mitigate against the difficulties of interviewing online, Otero suggests paying more attention to your body language and eye contact, and to spend time building a connection at the start of the interview.
“I like always to start the interviews … just getting to know each other with an intro, talking about different topics, and then we jump into talking about the role,” he says.
2. Start the onboarding process before your first day
“For me, the onboarding process does not start on your first day, it starts even before,” says Otero. “Onboarding is the time for learning it’s the time to meet the people, to learn about the company, and to embrace the culture.
While online learning can easily substitute for some of the onboarding process, it is harder to build connections and absorb company culture from afar, says Otero.
Otero advises spending time before you start reaching out to members of your team and learning about the company’s culture from their website and social media.
He says: “The good news [for me] was that Celonis made, at the same time as I was onboarding, a very good campaign about our culture and our values.”
3. Get to know your colleagues personally as well as professionally
Workplace messaging platforms make it relatively easy to get work done from home, but they are also a great way to connect with new colleagues on a personal level, says Otero.
“I made a step forward and shared with all of them about my hobbies what I was doing, my family,” says Otero. “Start sharing in all the channels and start receiving from them.”
He adds: “In the same way that you are commenting and giving feedback on a presentation, if someone is talking about their [personal] plans or something and you like it, or you have advice, give it to them.”
3. Seek advice from your coworkers
Approach your coworkers in listening mode to find out what you can learn from them, says Otero.
“They are the experts, they are the ones that have been here, they are the ones that have built this great company,” he says.
For Otero as a senior hire, this means making sure he focuses on his team’s needs by being open about his approach and welcoming suggestions from them.
Working together on problems will help you to earn their respect, he says: “It’s time to have those coaching opportunities, but it’s one of the most difficult areas building that with your team, and you need to invest time.”
5. Take time to unwind
Working remotely can be draining, with many of us suffering from ‘Zoom burnout’.
When you join a new company you want to make a good impression, but its still important to take time away from your screen to unwind, says Otero.
“Adjust your agenda to the virtual world,” says Otero. “Disconnect mentally from one call after another after another.”
He advises introducing a 15-20 minute buffer between calls to give you a chance to to take a breather.
You can build this into the schedule by cutting down the length of calls. At Celonis, Otero says, they have found that in-person meetings that used to last 90 minutes can now be done online in half the time.
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