Career Trends: How to ace your probation period while working remotely

3 min read

Edition: September 9th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

The onboarding process has changed significantly since COVID. (Image Credit: Getty)
  • Excerpts from article by Elisa Nardi & Stuart Gentle, published on

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed the recruitment and onboarding processes for organisations across the board, bringing with it a completely new set of challenges for both employers and new recruits. 

Beginning a new job is often a daunting experience, but in the absence of physical introductions, the creation of new relationships and understanding the company culture can be even harder.

The first 90 days are critical for a new employee.

Here are 4 tips to help you sail through your probation period in a remote work environment:

1. Reach out for onboarding support and advice 

  • The onboarding landscape has changed significantly and the pre-COVID processes may not be as effective anymore.
  • Find out more about the current practices being followed by your company to help candidates discharge their duties in a virtual environment.
  • Developing a rapport with your supervisor will be a huge help in this.
  • Review your home office set up. Are you adequately equipped? If not, ask your office for help.
  • Remember, time management and effective communication will be crucial in putting your best foot forward.

2. Self-reflect and learn

  • Virtual roles tend to require candidates to draw on their self-management skills in areas such as task management, motivation and their own personal development.
  • With less office-based ‘cues’, the learning process can often be stalled in virtual roles, particularly in more junior positions where candidates are still relatively inexperienced.
  • Develop skills in self-reflection & learning. These ensure that you take personal responsibility for your progress rather than relying on others to carry you through.

3. Guard against professional isolation

  • Starting a new virtual role can be a very different experience to entering a physical office for the first time and many are unprepared for the challenges they face.
  • Professional isolation is a growing concern as more workers face extended periods of working alone.
  • In addition, there are fears that certain segments of the workforce will be disadvantaged as a result of remote working.
  • Prepare yourself for the reality of virtual work. It is essential to ensure that you enter these roles with your eyes wide open and with a clear understanding of how to navigate your new career path effectively.
  • There are some real perks to working remotely, it’s just a case of being realistic and pragmatic.

4. Check in with past candidates

  • Hybrid working is still relatively new for most organisations and they are still finding their way.
  • A recent survey revealed that over half of employees wanted to maintain some home working in the future. 
  • Checking in with candidates previously placed in virtual roles will be essential to finding out what works and what doesn’t.
  • Identify the areas that cause issues or that have been particularly helpful. This will ensure that you can best tailor your approach.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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