What is it Like to Start a Job at a Fully Distributed Immense?
Starting a new role has always been challenging. Meeting new colleagues, on-boarding to new systems, and getting up to speed on work requirements can be overwhelming. The global COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that Immense has been fully distributed since Q2 2020, makes the on-boarding process even more important.
We sat down virtually with our newest Automation Test Engineer, Shilpi Garg, to hear about her on-boarding experience and gather some tips for others going through a similar process.
Hey Shilpi, how did you find your virtual induction?
I was supposed to attend the office physically, so honestly, I was a bit nervous about the virtual process. I joined Immense at the peak of the pandemic but everything from the joining process to induction was flawless. Induction sessions with all the product owners were well organised. Consistent support was there to help me out with assigned tasks or IT issues or just in general. It is commendable to accomplish remote induction perfectly when companies were still striving to adjust to remote working culture.
What were the first couple of weeks like?
Lots of zoom calls and that was the best part (I did not realize that at the time… haha!). The regular video sessions helped me to understand people and company culture well. The first couple of weeks were the learning phase for me, I used to ping most of my team members all the time and they were very patient with me in answering my doubts.
Were you worried about building personal relationships remotely? How well do you feel you know your colleagues, bearing in mind you haven’t met any of them?
I did not get a chance to meet most of my team personally, so building trust was a major concern for me. But over time we built that trust both ways. There is no replacement for having to meet people personally but still, I feel that I know my colleagues well and hope to meet them in person soon.
How has being fully remote actually helped you get to know people and their families better?
Oh yes definitely, my daughter knows most of the immense team faces now and she is so proud that she knows them all. Working remotely allows us to show our personal side and helps the family to understand our work-life. Such a level of transparency was never previously achieved. It feels like we are part of a big family.
What does Immense do to encourage teamwork and collaboration at work?
Effective communication is a vital aspect for a successful distributed team and that is well understood and implemented by Immense. We have days scheduled for meetings. We have well-organised meetings at the streams level like stand-ups, then we have inter-team meetings like Ambassadors, Engineering meets and then companywide meetings like ‘All hands’. These are very interactive with the primary objective to keep everyone well-informed and to encourage collaboration.
How does Immense encourage social collaboration? What structure and support have you received?
We have many slack channels just for socialising. Channels include ‘immense-pets’ where people share pics and stories for their pets…I do not own a pet, but I love to explore that channel. We also have ‘immense-health’, where people share ideas of how they are keeping themselves healthy. We have Chess, Scrabble, and golf clubs as well. We have several other channels where we can just share news, jokes, and culture. Immense is doing a lot of things to support people socially!
And there is a practice that everyone undertakes here: to have a five-minute personal check-up before jumping into work stuff in a meeting. That helps to connect with team members.
What tips would you give someone joining a fully distributed company?
- Make a routine for work hours – being consistent helps others to know availability.
- Be clear of work expectations
- Prefer video calls (if possible) and do not rely only on chat/text communication.
- Communicate, Communicate and Communicate
- Embrace the perks of working remotely. Now we are working remotely, life is little bit different (and a little more awesome 😊), so do not forget to enjoy that extra hour of life.
- Did I say to communicate?
So, there you have it. The key elements of seamless on-boarding include a mix of structured and informal Zoom calls, good use of digital platforms to share and access information, and communication, communication, communication…
If you’d like to join Immense and experience this for yourself, we are actively recruiting exceptional talent to help us build a category-defining product. Find out more and check out the current list of available roles here: https://immense.ai/careers/