You’ve pored through job postings, gone on interviews, and landed a new remote job. Now what?
The first weeks of a new remote role can be a bewildering experience, especially if you’ve only worked in offices. There is no first-day office tour, no face-to-face introductions, and no coworkers in close proximity to ask those typical new-hire questions: “How does this login work?” or “What does that person do again?”
You’ll face challenges settling into your new remote job, but relax; most issues are temporary and easily surmountable with a little preparation. Five workplace experts offer their top tips to help you ease into your new remote role.
Schedule Check-Ins and Find Mentors
Art Markman, a professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, recommends scheduling short check-ins with colleagues when you start, in order to get a feel for your new team. In his Harvard Business Review article “Starting a New Job – Remotely,” Markman also suggests identifying a couple of potential mentors and establishing relationships. He advises that you always mention you’re new at the company when chatting with co-workers for the first time.
Ask for Progress Reports
Ask supervisors early on for progress reports to ensure you’re on the right track, suggests Bianca Miller Cole, an author, entrepreneur, and branding expert. In her Forbes article, “7 Top Tips to Help You Start Your New Remote Job,” she also advises staying calm when overwhelmed; it's important to realize that co-workers know you’re new and just learning the ropes.
Experimental Schedules and Breaking the Isolation
Emily Irish, who writes about productivity for Zapier, recommends writing down a list of top priorities for each day and week so that upon completion, you know your most important work is done. In her article “The Remote Work Survival Guide,” she suggests experimenting with different schedules to gauge when you’re most productive. Breaking isolation is also important, so she advises working at a coffee shop or co-working space when needed.
In “Starting a New Job Remotely During Coronavirus” published in the Muse, journalist Lisa Rabasca Roepe advises new remote workers to prepare for the onboarding process in advance. Roepe, who covers entrepreneurship, technology, and work culture, suggests contacting your HR coordinator and ask what to expect regarding the itinerary and nature of orientation. She also recommends keeping a neutral tone until you have a better feel for your new coworkers’ personalities.
Technical Glitches and Periodic Walks
The absence of an IT department and periods of extended sitting might be jarring for the new remote worker, notes personal finance writer Carson Kohler. In his TopResume article “Starting a New Remote Job? How to Be Successful During the First Week,” Kohler suggests having a backup plan in case of technical failure, as well as setting reminders for yourself to occasionally step away from the computer to avoid sitting for too long.
While it's true that starting a new remote job can be stressful, sufficient preparation will help you feel more relaxed and confident. If you perform at your best from the start, you’ll not only make an excellent first impression, but also create a strong foundation for fruitful remote work.