So, you’re starting a remote job? Is this your first remote job, by chance? Either way, congratulations on your new role!
Working from home certainly has it’s perks. If you’ve never started a remote job before, you will quickly realize that it’s a little different than starting a new job in-person. But, have no fear.
I started a new remote job just a few months ago and made sure to take note of everything that I wish I knew I was getting myself into with starting a remote job – specifically so I could write this post for you!
This post is all about 9 things to expect when starting a remote job.
9 Things To Expect When Starting A Remote Job
1. You Will Meet A Lot Of New People
You should expect to meet a good amount of people over video calls in your first few weeks at your new fully remote job. But this is a good thing.
Sure, it can be a little nerve-wracking to have to video chat with new colleagues, but this is a great way to learn more about your new company and begin to establish working relationships.
For example, if you need assistance on a topic down the road, and you’ve already met the person who is the expert on that topic, you know exactly who to reach out to when the time comes.
And it’s much easier and quicker to start up a chat with someone you’ve already met before.
A quick tip: write down a few questions in your notebook that you can turn to if the conversation with your new coworkers ever begins to slow.
Questions like “what were you doing before you joined [company]?” and “what’s your favorite thing about working at [company]?” are great conversation starters!
Meeting and networking with your new team members via video chat is also a great way to make work friends… more on this later.
2. You Will Learn How To Work With A New Manager
Whether you are excited to have a brand new manager, or you’re a little sad leaving the one you previously had, you now have a completely blank slate with your new manager.
When you first start your new remote job is when you’ll want to start learning about their management style. Are they more hands-on or hands-off? Do they like to have weekly 1-on-1 meetings?
Maybe they expect you to be on video for your team meetings? Or they care what time you start and end work each day?
Now’s the time to ask all your questions so you know what’s expected of you.
It’s also a great time to let your manager know how you like to be managed. Do you prefer to communicate via chat or in a video call? How do you like to receive feedback?
How do you like to work – do you prefer to work by yourself or do you prefer to work with your teammates?
Start thinking about what you like in a manager, and how you like to be managed, because if you can establish clear communication around your preferred work style in the very beginning, you will start off on the right foot and set yourself up for a great working relationship with your new manager.
3. You’ll Learn What The Company Culture Is Like
No matter what the culture was like at your previous company, you are likely to pick up on the differences between your old company and your new company very quickly – maybe even as soon as your first week!
Hopefully your new company / new employer is all the things you wish your last company was, and none of the things you wish your last company wasn’t.
Things you’ll probably notice right off the bat:
- What holidays are recognized
- How leaders interact with other employees, how they communicate company goals and initiatives, and what they expect of their employees
- How the company is organized
- How diverse your new company is
- If employees support the products/services of your company
- Your new company’s prioritization (or lack thereof) of work life balance
…and so much more. Hopefully, your new company’s culture is a breath of fresh air.
4. You Will Learn How To Use New Tools And Systems
If your previous companies all used Outlook for email, and your new company uses Gmail, you might experience a bit of a learning curve as you get used to your new email tool.
The same goes for whatever instant messaging system you’re used to using – you might have used Microsoft Teams at a previous job, but now you’re required to use Google Chat.
If you’ve used a windows operating system your entire career but your new remote job requires you to use a Mac, you’re going to be in for quite a bit of change.
Different companies use different tools and systems, so be prepared to feel a little uncomfortable with some new-to-you tools. In your first few weeks or months, take your time getting used to the newness of everything. You’ll get the hang of things in no time.
5. You’ll Want To Make Your Work Space Comfortable And Ergonomic
If you are starting a new remote job, you are likely going to spend a lot of time in the same space, sitting down. No matter where you plan to do your work, you should ensure that your work station is comfortable and ergonomic.
According to CBS News, “Ergonomics is the adaptation of equipment, procedures, and surroundings to best fit the people who use them.
The fundamental purpose of ergonomics is to create a safe, comfortable, and stress-free workplace environment by customizing the right products and systems to each individual workstation.”
If you do not set up your home office to be ergonomic, you could suffer from lower back, neck and wrist pain, as well as eye strain, and much more.
For example, I made the mistake of not getting a wireless mouse for my laptop for the first 8 months of working at home in 2020 and when I tell you that my pinky and ring finger started to go numb after a long day’s work, I’m not kidding! That was a mistake I will not be making again.
Be sure to take time to set up your working space properly – otherwise, you may have serious, lasting side effects.
6. You’ll Want To Make Work Friends
It’s no secret that making friends as an adult can be tough and the same is true when you are working remotely. When working remote, you are no longer going into the office every day which means you will likely see the people you work with very little, if at all.
If you’d like to start cultivating friendships while working from home, you’ll have to be a little bit more intentional about connecting with your coworkers.
You obviously can’t just stop by their desk whenever you’d like, but you can chat them on whatever messaging system your company works with.
I also suggest attending virtual social events when you have the opportunity so that you can talk to more people and develop relationships that way.
And lastly, when you are meeting with people, make sure you have your video on! When you’re not remote, you are able to meet with people face to face.
While video chatting is not exactly the same as chatting with someone in person, having your video on will certainly help.
7. You’ll Have A Lot Of Questions
As a new employee, it is inevitable that you will have a lot of questions around how things work, what exactly your job responsibilities are, and how to do your job effectively. This is totally normal! In fact, it’s a good idea to ask questions.
No one expects you to know everything, especially not in your first few months. So, don’t be afraid to ask your teammates or hiring manager for help – that’s what they’re there for.
Here are a few questions you might consider asking:
- What are your normal work hours? Can you work whenever you’d like, or does your team normally stick to standard hours of 8-5 or 9-5?
- How long is a standard lunch break? Do your coworkers usually take lunch breaks of 30 minutes, or is up to an hour okay?
- Is it okay to leave your home office and instead work at a co-working space or a local coffee shop?
- Is there a formal, remote onboarding process or new-hire orientation?
- Are there weekly meetings you should be aware of?
8. Your Work-Life Balance Will Probably Improve
Something remote workers everywhere experience is an improvement of work-life balance. When you work from home, you have so much more flexibility throughout your day.
For example, if you want to roll out of bed at 9am right before your work day starts, you might be able to do that. Depending on how flexible your job is, it’s also likely that you’ll be able to take quick coffee breaks or workout on your lunch break, for example.
You no longer have to have a morning commute or get all ready for the day (if you don’t want to).
You may also have a little more time to run errands or do house chores. Now of course, you shouldn’t be doing these things when you should be working, but if you have 5 or 10 minutes here and there, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can get done during the week.
And if you can check some of these things off your to-do list during the week, that means more time to do whatever you want on the weekends 🙂
Just make sure to set boundaries where possible – things can get a little overwhelming when you mix your personal / home life and work life too much. You don’t always want to feel like you’re at work when you’re at home, you know?
9. You May Save A Lot Of Money
Now that you no longer have a morning commute, you’re not using your car nearly as much. This means you’ll be spending less money on car maintenance, gas, and whatever other upkeep is required for your car to operate properly.
You’ll also probably save some money on your work attire. Now that you don’t have to go into the office, you can wear much more comfy (and cheap!) clothes on a day to day basis. Work from home attire is much more laid back than office attire.
This post is all about 9 things to expect when starting a remote job.
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