Hi! I’m Claire O’Regan, Juro’s director of customer success. I applied for the role in February 2020, navigated the interviews, accepted the offer, and was ready to start my new job.
But then we went into COVID-19 lockdown.
I started the following Monday nonetheless. Here’s my experience with remote onboarding at Juro.
New job, new start, new team ✨
Receiving Juro’s offer letter was a great experience in and of itself. The offer letter came through on Juro’s platform, so I had my first interaction with the product straight away. Unlike other offer letters I've read in the past, Juro’s offer letter was fun to read, succinct, and overall ‘human’ - as opposed to a corporation integrating another cog in the machine.
Juro’s people operations associate, Adrienne, emailed through an onboarding plan the week before I was due to start. It highlighted my first two weeks at Juro, covering key meetings with departmental leaders as well as in-depth sessions with both co-founders, Richard and Pavel. I was excited to learn about the mission behind Juro, and meet the team members that I would be working with every day.
Joining the team for lunch before my start date made a massive difference. I had previously met a few members of the team in the interview process, but that was a formal setting that limited the scope of conversation. Meeting everyone informally allowed me to establish relationships with the team outside of a workplace setting before I even started my official role, and got me excited for my in-person sessions the following week.
On Monday, however, the company made the decision to go fully remote, ahead of eventual lockdowns in the UK and in Latvia, where our engineering team is based. Face-to-face meetings were out of the question.
Together, but apart 👩💻
Juro already had the benefit of encouraging and sustaining a flexible working structure - my onboarding schedule was digitized immediately, and video conferencing software like Zoom and Hangouts became essential. Some of my sessions were rescheduled but they all sat within the initial timeframe of my onboarding.
"The notion of 'together but apart' is something I strive to maintain at Juro, and it’s inspiring to see it reflected across the team"
Slack and Zoom became my go-to systems; trying to maintain an element of instantaneous, collaborative interaction was challenging when we were all working remotely. Technology helped ease that burden.
My time at Auth0 also made it easier for me to adapt to this new normal; Auth0 was a Slack-enabled business that encouraged flexible working, and this experience gave me the confidence to dive right in and communicate with the whole team as if I were in the office with them. As well as regular team meetings, I’ve hosted fun activities like a video table quiz for my colleagues. I’m planning more online events in my first 90 days to encourage team bonding. The distance makes it challenging, but by no means impossible - I’m hoping to get my team together online to do a task together, or complete a baking project over the weekend and share through pictures and video calls. The notion of “together but apart” is something I strive to maintain at Juro, and it’s inspiring to see it reflected across the team.
Upsides 👍 and downsides 👎
Remote onboarding wasn’t without challenges. In my first two weeks:
- Inflexible online meetings: Face-to-face sessions might be blocked in the calendar for an hour, but they are flexible in terms of timing and location. We could end up in an informal Q&A format, sitting in a coffee shop, or have an intense knowledge-sharing meeting at our desks. Online, however, the structure felt more rigid, and that made it challenging to focus at times.
- Limited ‘team social’ experience: Juro is excellent at maintaining that social spirit and team unity, no matter where everyone is working from - but there’s something unique and special to be gained from face-to-face interaction. Replicating that is hard to do remotely.
Having said that…
- Social connection through technology: We share photos and videos when we can; continue our weekly team lunches; meet for virtual team drinks on Fridays; and the Donut integration ensures that we all have one-on-one coffee meetings to unwind and get to know each other on a personal level.
- Teams on social: I’ve seen my #wfh setup and cooking photos on Juro’s Twitter account! It makes me feel like part of the company and the brand. There’s something to be said about making companies more human, and showcasing the people behind the work.
- A unique onboarding experience: I was the first employee at Juro to be onboarded remotely. The commitment to provide an excellent experience was still evident, even as we were miles away interacting through our screens.
"The remote onboarding experience offered a different perspective into how the company works together and maintains its culture"
My onboarding highlight took place in my second week at Juro, when the business decided to make its basic plans free to support people through the pandemic. We implemented a solution that could help with remote contract management in two or three days. The entire project was really enjoyable - I was twice as busy as a result, and really happy and proud to be working at a company that could move in such an agile way to help others.
Projects like Juro’s free plans and the high quality of work from everyone involved validated my decision to join Juro. But more than that - the remote onboarding experience offered a different perspective into how the company works together and maintains its culture. I’m looking forward to delighting Juro’s growing customer base, and the eventual return to the office where I can see my colleagues in person again!