Starting a new job as a remote worker is an exciting opportunity. The freedom and flexibility to work from home are great perks. However, staying productive and organized can also be challenging when no physical cues or office spaces like a break room help you connect with your work colleagues.
Here are some helpful tips for making the most of your remote work experience.
Create a Dedicated Workspace in Your Home
If you’re starting a new job in a remote setting, you’ll want a quiet and comfortable home office. Find an ergonomic chair or stand-up desk that is comfortable.
Lighting makes a big difference in the comfort and efficiency of your home workplace. If possible, place your workstation near a window for lots of natural light throughout the day, which can improve your mood and energy levels and reduce eye strain. If you don’t have enough space for a desk lamp, consider using a wall-mounted one.
It’s essential to have readily accessible work supplies at your workstation. Add bins to your desk or wall hangings to keep things out of view but still close by. Purchase desk organizers to keep items like pens, papers, and files organized. Add plants, pictures, or interesting knick-knacks to brighten up your workspace.
As you go through the onboarding process with managers and team members, pay attention to their different communication styles. Communication is even more critical when you’re not in the office because it fosters good working relationships among colleagues and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Your email etiquette sets the tone for all your communication. Gauge how coworkers speak in their emails, which may be more formal, versus a video call where they may be more casual. Some of your coworkers may prefer to communicate via phone rather than email or messaging. You can use this information to build personal connections and communicate effectively with your coworkers.
There are also many instant messaging tools to communicate with your coworkers and collaborate on projects as part of the team. Applications such as Slack, Google Hangouts, and Glip help you stay connected to your teammates so they know your progress and availability.
As a remote worker, it’s essential to take the initiative and be proactive in your work. This means taking the initiative to communicate with your team and taking the time to learn about the company and its products or services. It also means being proactive in your work by setting deadlines and working diligently to meet them.
Another reason to take the initiative is that remote work employees typically get fewer cues than their in-house peers. For instance, if you and your coworker are on the same team or collaborating on a project, you can easily check in to see what they’re working on or how they are progressing and ask how you can assist.
Since remote workers don’t get these same types of cues, you must take the initiative, tell your managers what you’re working on, and check to see what you can move on to next. This means having regular check-ins with your manager and letting them know if you think you’re behind schedule or you can take on additional responsibilities or hours.
When starting a new job as a remote worker, it’s essential to ask questions and get clarification when something doesn’t make sense to you. This includes understanding the company’s remote work policies and procedures or getting to know your team and their working style.
The key is to focus on asking the right questions. Some questions you may want to ask early on in your remote employment are:
- What are my goals for this remote role?
- How can I best accomplish my goals?
- What resources do I need to be successful?
- What are the expectations for my position?
- How will I be evaluated?
- What are the upcoming deadlines?
- Is there a process in place for me to give feedback?
It’s important to understand your employer’s expectations, especially when you’re working most of the time independently. You need to know what hours you are expected to work, the type of work you will be doing, and any other company policies you’re expected to adhere to, such as how to sign in to work each morning.
These expectations could be:
- Clocking in and out
- Notifying your employer when you’re online
- Submitting your timesheet or hours on specific days and weeks
- Understanding the lunch break policies
Establish limits on the first day you start to work from home. When you cannot separate home and work physically, it’s easy to work overtime. Setting clear work hours can help you avoid burnout. Deloitte talked to 1,000 working professionals and found that 77% suffered from burnout.
Here are a few tips for establishing boundaries:
- Make a schedule and stick to it
- Set specific hours when you will be available to answer emails or take calls
- Take regular breaks throughout the day
- Disconnect from work when you’re finished for the day
Respectfully setting boundaries for yourself from the outset allows you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. In the long run, this allows you to enjoy your new job more and ensures you can perform your best when you’re on the clock.
Find Remote Working Opportunities Near You
Remote work can be gratifying; it allows you to have more time for yourself since you’re not commuting and gives you the ability to work from anywhere. Although it presents some unique challenges, when you prioritize your communication, set boundaries, and create a quiet and comfortable workspace, you’re setting up your remote job for success.
If you want to get hired as a remote worker, check out the range of listings on Jobsfuel.com. JobsFuel’s job search engine is simple to use and allows people with specified employment goals to locate open jobs according to their preferences.