This might be the first time that some of us work remotely. Sure, there are those occasional Fridays when remote work happened, but this is very different. A lot of us are forced to deliver in much more challenging conditions. Being ready and being effective remotely is important. As someone who has worked virtually since starting OnDemand Resources, and someone who recently prepped several consultants starting new roles at new clients virtually, I want to offer a few thoughts that you might find helpful, especially if this is the first time doing it, and especially for new clients – it is very important to start strong and make a great first impression.
- Make sure that you are available at all times during work hours – be very quick responding to emails, and, in case you miss a phone call from someone at the client, return it/respond very quickly – you want to create a sense that you are 110% engaged despite the fact that you are not on site. This is especially important if you are new to the team, and don’t have existing relationships to draw upon.
- Be proactive in reaching out and introducing yourself to members of the client team, and key stakeholders. This means to initially build a list of people that are key to your projects – proactively use your sponsor and others on the team to help you. If you need additional help, use other consultants on the same project to help you navigate and get a sense of client’s culture, you are in this together.
- Create a dedicated work space – as much as you can, dedicate a space for work – hopefully you are able to curve out a room, or at least a quiet corner where you can fully work without interruptions. Dedicated space, however small provides for much better work environment that allow to focus, and get the job done.
- Ensure that your technology infrastructure supports your needs – Zoom and the likes have become very important tools in connecting with others. There is nothing worse than cutting in/out of video calls, etc. If needed, buy additional bandwidth, and invest in better wi-fi equipment – small price to pay for much higher level of productivity and better engagement.
- Be professional and take the job seriously from the first minute – I know this goes without saying, but I also know that it will be harder on you than being able to walk into the client’s office and be successful, so again, the first impression is very important!
I know that many of these are obvious, yet important. I hope you find them helpful!