Congrats! You are starting a new remote job, which is both exciting and a bit daunting too.
Having the freedom to work from home (or anywhere, pending your company’s policy) is a game changer. But this does not mean being remote will not have some unique challenges and it is important to start off on the right foot.
Below are some essential tips on what you should do on your first day of a new remote job.
1. Prep Your Home Office or Workspace
Generally, you should have some basics set up before your first day starting the new remote job. But sometimes, you might not get certain equipment ahead or you might not have it all set up the way you want.
Your first day is good to start organizing your space, get your passwords set up, log in to necessary tools or platforms, make sure your laptop works well with Zoom, update your computer, make sure computer accessories work, etc
2. Familiarize Yourself With the Company’s Culture
You should have a good idea about the culture through your interviews with others at the organization and doing company research.
But your first day of a new remote job can be another time to dive deeper into things like values, mission, and overall expectations.
Read thoroughly, jot down questions, and be proactive to learn how you can best fit in and contribute to the overall goals.
3. Establish Your Routine
Although it’s only day one, it’s good to be thinking about how you’d like to plan your remote work days. Establishing a routine and sticking to it will ensure you are focused, setting boundaries, and have a proper work-life balance.
You’ll probably make some adjustments after the first week or so, but it’s good to be thinking about routine on your first day.
4. Get to Know Your Colleagues
On your first day of a new remote job, it can be good to connect with your colleagues. Sometimes remote work can be isolating, so establishing some camaraderie early on is worth your time.
You might not get to network with everyone pending on their own work schedules, but even a quick message and intro go a long way.
Plus, connecting early on, will help you to feel closer to the team and better understand how everyone works together.
5. Familiarize Yourself with the Tools and Systems
Many companies with remote employees use various tools and products to collaborate, communicate, and get work done. And even if you are an experienced remote worker, you may be using a tool completely new to you.
Your first day is the perfect time to play around with the tools or systems, familiarize yourself with how they are being used, and see what questions about them you might have.
6. Ask Questions
Your first day and week of a new remote job will probably consist of you asking a lot of questions. And that’s totally okay, do not hesitate to ask questions about anything related to the job or company.
This will help you to learn quickly and to avoid making mistakes in the future. And remember to thank everyone who provides guidance or help. Those small gestures go a long way with your new co-workers.
7. Establish Clear Lines of Communication
There are three parts to mastering communication with remote work.
- How your company uses tools for communication
- How your manager prefers to be communicated with
- How you like to be communicated with
You’ll want to understand preferred communication methods for deliverables, questions, and other general items. Have a conversation with your boss and ask co-workers around the communication process.
Additionally, set your own communication preferences too. You also have a say in how you work and when you respond. So set those boundaries early on too!
8. Be proactive
For many remote-first companies, there is more autonomy over your work. Meaning, you won’t always be told what to do or have someone micromanaging you. This can be a shock to those brand new to working remotely, instead of in the office.
So a good thing to do is be proactive and take initiative on things you can contribute to. If you are just sitting at your computer waiting for things, it’s not going to be the best look.
You don’t want to overstep on projects you aren’t familiar with, but find ways to be active between meetings. For example, you can read through the latest projects and understand what others are working on.
9. Start Getting Organized
The best way to be efficient in remote work is to be highly organized. And if you work for a startup especially, you will be involved in multiple projects. So figuring out your system will be key.
Develop a plan for keeping track of your tasks, upcoming deadlines, and progress. Potentially, your company has project management tools in place like Basecamp, Trello, or Asana. Utilize those for sure.
But beyond that, you will want to figure out how you best can keep things on schedule and not lose track of your work.
10. Take Your Breaks
Even on your first day of a new remote job, you should be taking periodic breaks. It can be easy to get caught up in your work, especially when you are working from home.
Make sure to take breaks and step away from your computer to stretch, work out, grab something to eat, etc. This will help you to recharge and to maintain your focus.
Unsure about your cadence for taking breaks? Here’s how often you should take breaks when working from home and other tips.
Starting a new remote job is always exciting, but can be overwhelming too. If you follow the above tips, you will ensure that you start your day off in a positive and impactful way.
And remember, don’t put too much pressure on yourself right away. While it’s good you are eager to contribute in a meaningful way to the business, don’t burn yourself.
Give yourself some grace. And have time to embrace your new remote job! You generally won’t be expected to work on complicated projects or deliver specific work right away.