Conversations with Friends: Starting your new role remotely

Posted on February 2021 By Speller International
Conversations With Friends

I think we can all agree that we are happy to see the back of 2020. Many challenges were faced, both personally and professionally, throughout the year.

Yet some of the things that we were forced to do will now become standard practice in 2021 and beyond.

One of the major challenges we encountered was onboarding new contractors or staff into new roles remotely. It is hard to believe that a lot of people have worked for their new company for close to a year and have not yet stepped foot inside their office, let alone meet any of their work colleagues in person.

We sat down with 2 of our candidates who started new roles in the middle of a pandemic during Melbourne’s tough lockdown. Noel Rajiv, who is an experienced SAP Finance Lead started a new permanent Business Partner role with MMG. And Varum Bassi, who is an experienced Test Analyst/Lead who started and finished his remote contract with Hesta during their SAP SuccessFactors project.

We asked both Noel and Varun share their experiences on how they managed to successfully transition into new roles with so many challenges thrown at them, and what advice they would give to anyone who may have to do the same thing.

Other than just being able to meet the rest of the team face to face what was the biggest challenge in starting your new role remotely?


Connectivity. Getting connected to the network and various services was one of the issues, this can be challenging even when you are starting new and are in the office. It makes it really challenging when onboarding remotely and don’t have the onsite IT support.


Trying to build Personal Relationship with the team was a real challenge as we would only meet virtually to discuss work so was hard to build that more personal relationship/ friendship.

Was there anything different you did to adjust to working from home/remotely and stay motivated and keep mentally positive?


Proactively connecting with people who I have to work with both within the function and cross functional including offshore teams, as there is no option to face to face contact, having regular calls and engagement made me feel part of the team and settle down quickly.

Leverage the document repository to gain knowledge of enterprise architecture and associated processes, followed by meeting with process owners to clarify any queries.

Ask for help if needed. People are usually empathetic about employees commencing remotely so don’t be reluctant to ask for support if needed.


Setup a proper routine of daily activities, keep in touch with my boss on daily basis, regular breaks while working and stay in touch with your friends and colleagues.

What are some of the positive things from a personal perspective that you have encountered working remotely?


Time saving on commuting to work, can be effectively used to catch-up on work and also spending time with the family. With a regular routine and organised days can provide the basis to get a lot out of a day, if planned well and executed.


I had more time to spend with the family and took the opportunity to do some further studies and self-learning.

Best advise you could give to someone who is about to start a brand new remotely?


Be positive, proactively connect and established rapport with your key stakeholders, and ask for help if needed. In the absence to face to face interaction and office environment, it takes extra effort to have effective communications through other means.


Setup a proper home-office, set communication standards with your colleagues, keep in touch with your boss daily, and setup expectations around the learning curve.

I think both Noel and Varun excelled in the face of adversity and showed great professionalism and flexibility to make starting their new roles as easy as possible not only for themselves but also for the companies that hired them.

We are keen hear from other consultants about their experience in starting new roles remotely and any advice you can give. If you would like to hear more from the SAP community, the Speller Team or SAP news in general, feel free to follow us on LinkedIn.