We asked Chief People Officer Kate Parente at Pega, a software company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts how people can avoid struggling in a new work environment when starting remotely.
Create a home office to encourage productivity. While not everyone has access to a dedicated home office, find ways to make your workspace inviting and productive. This could mean a new desk, a collapsible treadmill to walk during conference calls, a sit-stand desk, or even just a comfortable chair and great noise canceling headphones.
Take advantage of online networking and training tools. As home offices become more ubiquitous, in-person meetings may not be possible when starting a new role – especially if your teammates are distributed across different geographies. Take the initiative to schedule 15-minute virtual coffee chats with teammates as well as those outside your team – networking is important for growing your presence and learning more about the business. Additionally, a big perk to this remote world is that many events/training sessions have gone digital. Look for new ways outside of your company to develop new or cultivate existing skills, be it LinkedIn, a virtual industry conference, or more.
Find your voice and use it. Working remotely can sometimes feel like it’s harder to make your presence known, but it doesn’t have to be. During meetings, it’s important to contribute so you’re on people’s radar. Remember, you were hired because people at your company value your ideas, so don’t be afraid to speak up and contribute – bring your unique perspective to meetings and email threads whenever possible.
Get involved with employee resource groups (ERGs). Most companies have ERGs to help progress their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts and empower their diverse group of employees. The hybrid office model makes it easy to get involved – be it virtually or in-person. Whether you’re joining as a member or an ally, participating in ERGs is a great way to support causes that are important to you, while also networking within your company.
Define boundaries and be intentional about how you spend your time. A new job, especially remote, can be all-consuming. Plan your day and build in time to take breaks. Spend time with your family, friends, and pets, as well as eat healthy and engage in activities that give you energy and help relieve the stress of a new job. Additionally, define your work-life boundaries that suit you and be intentional about not mixing them.