Working a New Job Remotely

Working remotely

As 2021 works through March, the rates of new coronavirus infections are declining as the number of vaccinated people increases.  For many businesses, work-from-home orders remain in place even as the states loosed restrictions.

For those starting new jobs, the idea of beginning a position from home can almost seem like a relief as it circumvents the fear of entering a new work culture and, therefore, the adjustments required.  When you are just starting with a company, and the desire is to make the best possible impression, how can you remain motivated when the trip to work is down the hall from where you sleep?

Begin as you mean to go on.

Your first step is to begin and maintain a routine.  Starting a new routine can seem like a Herculean task.   Considering that most people who work from home need only to check in with employers via phone or video conferencing, establishing a schedule is a must.

As with any new job, your first days will be spent filling out forms, signing up for benefits, and meeting with your supervisor and your team.  As a new employee, you may be paired with a company veteran who will show you the ropes even remotely.  At some point, very soon, you will begin your job without anyone looking over your shoulder. The expectation is you will put in a full day’s work without personal interruptions, just as if you were in an office setting.

Being ready to work at the start of the workday is just the first step towards establishing the routine that transitions you to the mindset that, yes, you are at work and must focus.

Take all breaks allotted to you throughout the day, as outlined in your initial employment agreement.

This second step towards motivational upkeep is making sure you allow yourself the relief from stress that comes from regular breaks throughout the workday.  Acquaint yourself with your company’s policies regarding breaks and lunchtime so that you can schedule those into your every workday. 

It may seem tempting to prove your work by working “straight out,” however, if you establish yourself at the offset as a person who completes their work but still allows regular breaks and lunchtime throughout the day, your employer will come to expect it from you. 

It is fine to extend the workday or skip lunch to address a particular project or problem.  Most jobs have periods where the typical eight-hour workday is rare.  At the beginning of your employment, you have to get used to what would be considered to be a standard day with breaks, lunch, and a definite end of the day.

Dress to be seen

Beyond making sure that you are available and ready to work at the beginning of your new employer’s prescribed workday, make sure that you are prepared for your day just as if you were going to an office.

Preparing for your day means waking up with enough time to allow yourself to get ready as you would if you had to drive or commute to an office.  Even though you will be communicating and interacting with your bosses and coworkers over video, it is essential to present yourself in business attire, just as your employer would expect of any employee in the office.

No one is suggesting you sit in your living room dressed in full suit and tie, but the ability to transform oneself at a moment’s notice by donning a jacket before a Zoom meeting speaks of your preparedness and dedication to those who might do business with you.

What you do in your down-time matters.

It has become evident during the pandemic that getting outside and performing some physical activity inspires people to return to business with increased enthusiasm for both work and personal endeavors. 

Spring is upon us both seasonally and metaphorically as we see advancement in the fight against COVID-19, and all should embrace the hope that such a time implies.  As we enjoy the incoming indications of life and renewal like the buds on the trees and the crocuses poking their heads from the earth, we are reinspired to give our best as our employment allows us to be secure in our homes and lives.