person looking at computer with remote team

How to Prepare for Your First Remote Job

By Hailey Rosinski, Guest Author | January 18, 2021

The time has come for you to switch gears. No more working under fluorescent lights with tons of other people, listening to hundreds of keyboard clicks per minute. With this change will come many questions, new routines, and new normals.

However, there are ways you can prepare. Below, we have compiled a list of six things you can do to set yourself up for success as you start working from home.

 

1.  Start connecting with your new coworkers as soon as possible.

As with any new job, you will have plenty of questions during your first week. It is important that you reach out to a few members of your team who can help point you in the right direction while you get the hang of your new routine. Remote businesses often use communication software like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. Find out where you can reach your team and make sure they know where to find you in the future as well.

 

2.  Set up your space to promote productivity and spark creativity.

With a remote job, you will have the chance to design an environment that caters to your comfort and specific needs. You can put up whatever posters you may have been embarrassed to show to the whole office or add some cool gadgets like a mug warming coaster that will keep your coffee or tea from getting cold. Whatever renovations you decide on, make sure your physical surroundings will encourage you to stay focused during the workday. 

 

3.  Keep your body moving.

You will likely be sitting at your desk now more than ever. Instead of walking into conference rooms, you’ll now attend video meetings and take phone calls right at your desk. It is important that you find reasons to get up and stretch, take your eyes off the screen, and give your brain a second to process and reboot. Devices like a Fitbit or a simple timer on your phone can remind you when it is time to stand up and take a short walk.

 

woman working remotely

 

4.  Draft up a strict schedule for yourself.

Working from home means that your bed, couch, or maybe your favorite reading nook is easily accessible. It will be important to establish good work habits and keep yourself accountable to working during normal work hours. If you allow yourself to get sidetracked with house chores during the workday, you may find yourself needing to catch up on work responsibilities during your scheduled relaxation time.

With that said, it is equally as important to build in some breaks for yourself. A theoretical “walk to the water cooler” will do.

5.  Ask the right questions.

Make a list of your concerns before you settle into your new job. Do not let the fear of asking a silly question get in the way. Guaranteed, your new manager will appreciate your enthusiasm and determination to succeed. If you are having trouble thinking of some good questions, here are a few you may consider:

What hours is everyone expected to be available?

  • How do managers and the team prefer to be contacted? How often?
  • What work-from-home technology and/or software should I have learned and at my disposal? Should I upgrade my home internet service?
  • What does it take to succeed in the company while working remotely?
  • When are the recurring meetings that I should be attending?

 

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6. Prepare for the unexpected.          

Starting a new remote job comes with all new hurdles and distractions. Your internet may choose to sabotage you 15 minutes before an important meeting, or your cat could decide to knock down a glass vase during a training session.

To avoid missing information, screen record important meetings and training videos so you can go back and refresh your memory when you get stuck. Also, have a local coffee house or a generator ready in case the power goes out at the exact moment you needed it most. It could be beneficial to make a list of your possible setbacks, then a list of your counterattacks.

 

Ready to find your next remote job? Look for the blue “Remote Work” tag when searching for opportunities on iHire’s talent communities.           


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