How to start a remote job
Learn the ins and outs of your new gig…while working from your couch.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the business world forever. Even company executives that were resistant to remote work-from-home set-ups are realizing that their companies can operate without everyone needing to be in the office 9 to 5. Some companies may ditch their office spaces altogether and allow people to work from home permanently or have a rotating schedule to limit the number of people in the office at a time.
In fact, according to a recent Monster poll, 39% of employers are planning to reduce the number of workers on site at a given time as a health-safety precaution and 70% of employers said they would be flexible if employees opt to not return to the office full time.
Those changes indicate that there'll be less face-to-face time at work. Whether you just started a new job, are searching now, or will make moves in the future, it will be helpful to know how to set yourself up for success if you're starting a job remotely. Here are four tips on managing the so-called "new normal" of remote hiring and working from home.
Whenever you start a new job, it is always a good idea to set up a meeting with your boss to learn her expectations, what success looks like in your role, and to set tangible goals you can work toward. Your boss might not be used to checking in and providing feedback when she doesn’t see you face-to-face in the office.
Be proactive and ask to set up a short weekly one-on-one meeting to see what you are doing well and what you can work on and to share your progress and goals. Similarly, before starting a new project or assignment, understand what your boss expects and when it is due, and ask any clarifying questions.
Get to know your team
When you're in the office, it's easier to observe the workplace culture, how your team works, and the goals and objectives of the organization. It's also easier to get to know your co-workers, but you can still establish strong relationships when you are in a remote work-from-home scenario. If you have a small team, send an email to each person to introduce yourself and tell them that you're excited to work with them.
Normally, you’d sit next to a peer, go to lunch together, or chat before or after your meetings. Recreate that by asking a few people on the same level as you if they have time for a 10-minute phone call or videoconference or a “virtual lunch.” You’ll get a chance to learn more about how the team operates, how people communicate remotely—is it all through email, through Slack, or do people pick up the phone and call?—and you’ll have someone to turn to when you inevitably have questions.
Impress your co-workers
Whether it is remote, work-from-home, or in-person, the best way to make a good first impression with your colleagues is to impress people by doing a good job and being great to work with.
The soft skills that will impress people the most in the “remote work world” are communication, time-management, independence, and prioritization.
Reread all your emails and chat messages before sending them to see if there are ways you can organize the information more clearly like by having lists, bullet points, or action items.
Check in with your manager and people you work closely with more often than you might otherwise and keep them aware of what you are working on and what you’ve finished, and ask if there is anything else you can help with. Better yet, if you see projects that need to be done or ways something can improve, offer to tackle them. Your co-workers will be impressed by your organization, dedication, and proactivity.