Congratulations! You’ve secured the role. Now it’s time to write that resignation letter and think about starting your new job remotely.
While the initial offer feels like a wave of sweet relief, the new job jitters are likely to be creeping in as your start date approaches. These feelings are normal whether you’ve been looking for a new job for 3 weeks or 53!
Before you start, if you’ve been out of work for a while try and incorporate some more structure into your days if you haven’t had any for a while. This will ensure it’s less of a shock to the system when you’ve started.
Also, heads up: taking in so much new information, learning about products/ processes is likely to leave you feeling drained for the first few weeks when starting a new job remotely. Again be kind to yourself and be patient with your learning curve.
Get set up for success remotely
All jobs come with an adjustment period and businesses are adjusting to the ‘new normal’ too, so don’t be put off if your onboarding is more stilted than expected. Be patient and flexible. If you need certain equipment to do your job remotely, make sure you ask if you don’t receive it.
Businesses have a responsibility to their employees to keep them safe while at work. For office based roles that includes DSE (Display Screen Equipment) assessments and that doesn’t stop just because you’re working from home.
When starting a new job remotely, it’s important to get your workspace set up. Whether you have a separate office, or it’s the kitchen table, the important things to think about are:
- Is it a quiet space? (So that you can concentrate and not be distracted during meetings.)
- Is there room for my equipment? (A laptop, second screen, phone, notepad, headphones…some of these may be essential so make sure they’re nearby if you need them.)
- Do I have stable internet connection? (It’s essential. Be close to your WiFi router. Enough said.)
- Am I near a plug socket? (Your equipment is going to need to be powered – don’t string an extension cord all the way across the room!)
- Am I comfortable? (No, we’re not talking about wearing pyjamas! Make sure you have a good chair with back support, and your screen and keyboard are at the correct height.)
- Have I got good lighting? (Remote working = video calls. Make sure your background is professional by keeping it clear and plain, and you have good lighting. Natural lighting is best, if possible.)
Manage tools and expectations
Make an effort to become familiar with the programmes and tools you’ll need to do your job. Unfortunately, you’ve exchanged the pain of the commute for the inconvenience of not having a colleague to shout to for help.
Ask if there’s any online training you can do. Or ask if you can share screens and have a mentor you if you’re struggling.
It can be reassuring if you know what’s expected of you, so make sure you have some guidance about what success would look like in the first 30, 60 and 90 days in the new remote job.
Bit of an odd one to suggest, but it’s easy to “be always on” when working remotely or from home. Make sure you stick to your working hours, and don’t be tempted to answer emails after work just because you’re near the computer!
However, if your new job does offer you flexibility, don’t feel guilty if you’re going to pick the kids up from school, or need to dash to the local shop – you can make the time up later that evening after all.
Schedule regular breaks into your work calendar – this way you’ll get a reminder to get up, stretch, and not look at a screen for a few moments.
You’d naturally be taking breaks away from your screen in an office if you were talking to a co-worker or headed to the printer. Make sure you take breaks at home, at least five minutes away from your screen every hour. And remember to stay hydrated – get that kettle on!
Communication is key when starting a new job
Make additional efforts to be very clear in your communications, especially if you need support from your new colleagues. Subtle non-verbal cues say a lot and can be lost in video call or messaging, so be clear on why you’re getting in touch. For example, you may want to include ‘Question’ or ‘For review’ in your subject titles.
You may also want to establish your colleagues preferred method of communication. If their mailbox is bursting, a quick call might suffice, or a message through Slack, WhatsApp or LinkedIn – just ask.
Be social – virtually
Introduce yourself to your new colleagues. Getting to know people is definitely more difficult when starting a new job remotely, but don’t let it put you off.
Start by reaching out to the people you’ll be working most closely with. Suggest a call, have a chat and try and build a rapport with them. It might not feel as natural as congregating around the water cooler but in time you’ll get to know who you’re able to have a joke with and who to ask for support.
Ready to take the next step? View the next chapter in our #GetHired Skills Toolkit.
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