Starting A New Job Remotely? Here’s What You Need To Do

Starting a new job remotely comes with a few challenges. You won’t be able to meet your manager or colleagues in person, and those relationships will feel different with everyone separated by screens rather than offices. The onboarding process will be more hands-off and much of your work will be self guided. You’ll have to take on more responsibility to get your bearings and get settled. Even though you’re working alone, you aren’t on your own. Your coworkers and manager are still there, just not directly.

To hit the ground running with a new remote job, here’s what you need to do.


Meet your manager and coworkers.

It’s incredibly important to build a relationship with your manager and coworkers from day one when working remotely. In an office, you have the luxury of casually chatting with people and more organically building relationships. With remote work, it has to be much more intentional due to the lack of face to face contact between people. Most of your contact will be solely focused on work rather than also including casual interactions that would happen in an office.

Consider sending out a quick ‘hello’ email as an introduction to everyone on the team, and let your coworkers know you’d be happy to chat to get to know them better. You could even suggest a Zoom happy hour or other informal video get-together after work hours to meet each other.


Set up a video call with your manager.

Hopefully, a video call with your manager will be part of the onboarding process, but if it’s not, you should absolutely reach out to your manager and request it. This allows you to both meet virtually face to face and get to know each other. It’s much easier to build a relationship when both people can see each other and put a face to the name.


Ask more questions.

When in doubt, ask questions. Rather than trying to figure things out on your own, ask someone for help. Remote work is new for most of the workforce, so chances are that someone else also had the same questions as you when they started. Save yourself some trouble and just ask – there’s no harm in asking questions, and it won’t make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, asking questions to get yourself situated might actually make you look better in your manager’s eyes. It shows that you’re engaging in your new role and taking responsibility for your development.


Identify your go-to person for questions.

In an office, your go-to person for questions would typically be someone who works nearby. When your job is fully remote, your go-to person should be someone you’ll be working closely with who’s in the same time zone as you. Find someone on your team who you can quickly build a virtual connection with, and ask them if you can reach out when you have questions, especially in your first few weeks.

Establish the best way to get in touch with each other to ensure that there aren’t any big delays in communication. That can be by email, messenger, text, or even phone calls. Be flexible with how you communicate – if the other person has a strong preference for one method, it’s easiest to use that. Remember that they’re helping you, so it’s best to be accommodating.


Learn how your team communicates.

The best way to ensure your first few weeks of remote work will go smoothly is to ensure that you understand how people will be communicating. It’s important to know how important information will be sent out, what the expectations are for conference calls, and if email, Slack, text, or phone calls are the norm for simple communication. The only way to find out which methods of communication are used is to ask, so be sure that this is something that’s covered during your first few days.

Pay attention to how your team communicates. What’s the tone of the emails from your manager and between coworkers? When people are chatting on Slack or on Zoom, how formal are they keeping the conversation? Do people tend to email or Slack more often? What’s the policy on texting? Most of the questions can be answered simply by observing the way people communicate. If you’re still unclear, ask! It’s also worth asking your new colleagues what methods of communication they use and how things work, as the official ways aren’t always followed.


Set up your workspace.

If this is your first time working remotely, get your workspace set up so that you’re ready to go on day one. It can be tempting to work from the couch, but that isn’t going to help your productivity nor put you in the right frame of mind for working.

Ensure that you have a desk with a comfortable chair as well as any tech that you need. If your company will be providing you with a laptop or work accessories, get those set up the night before you start. This way you can focus solely on the onboarding process on your first day. The same goes for installing any necessary software on your existing computer, you’ll want to get it up and running before your first day so you don’t have to worry about it.

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