16 Smart Ways to Start a New Remote Job on the High
As it turns out, working from home isn’t entirely as cool as it once looked like. For better or worse, many of us need to switch jobs during these times as well. With that, comes the challenge of starting the job remotely. Now that’s a first time for a large part of the working population – fresher or not.
In this article, we talk about sixteen cool ways to make sure you hit the ground running with your remote job.
1. Make it feel like the office (work setup)
Before anything else, you want to ensure that your work-corner looks as much like an office as your real office would. For starters, you need a proper desk and a proper chair. Go for an ergonomic chair and a sturdy desk. Then, get the relative height right between the chair and the desk.
Never start working from home without a proper home office setup. Working out of the bed is not just mere indiscipline, but also an egregious health move. You never know how much damage you might end up doing to your spine and overall posture with such setups
2. Stay hydrated
You need to reply to your manager’s emails explaining why things are the way they are. There’s the presentation with a billion changes you have to finish in an hour. Then, you also have to boil out an hour a day at the seemingly pointless team. And there goes every natural hydration reminder that your body might have sent you vaporized with the slides on a presentation.
If you are to get anywhere close to withstanding the trials of a new remote job, hydration is the key. Set a mark of at least five or six litres of water per day. Don’t miss it for the world. If you have been ignoring metabolic reminders, set reminders on your phone.
3. Figure out the attendance/sign-in mechanism early
Companies take sign-in/attendance mechanisms very seriously for new joinees. Since there is no physical attendance mechanism, digital attendance becomes paramount. Make sure you have this particular conversation with someone in IT.
Being late at your remote work is considered doubly sinful. That’s generally because all you need to do is reach out to your laptop/PC a few feet from you.
4. Communicate with your manager
A new remote is like a new regular and then some. You need to tick all the boxes you’d tick at a regular job. The most important apple in the basket is how you get along with your immediate reporting manager.
Put some effort in creating a smooth line of communication with your manager. Like all new interactions, it can be a little edgy at the start. All you need to do is put in everything at the job and make sure your manager hears about it.
5. Work out a personal task sheet
Before you start answering others, be answerable to yourself for the work you do. A positive way to do that is to maintain a personal task sheet. Here, you can copy all the projects that you have been assigned. Plus, you can break them down further into little project milestones which you may or may not share with your manager or colleagues.
A personal task sheet on your remote job goes beyond mere compartmentalization. It helps you put your best foot forward and keeps you on the top of your game.
6. Give a little extra
An extra hour of work counts the most when you plant it right at the start of your stint. It sends out all the right signals. However, step with caution here. Do not stretch work meaninglessly. Giving extra does not have to be you slogging late hours for no reason.
Do a little more research. Help another new joinee with their work. Send a thank-you note to your manager even though you know they were just doing their work. All these things do count as an extra.
7. Take time to understand the new culture
Every new job is also a new experience. A lot of that is because most offices have cultures of their own. When you join a remote job, understanding this culture could be quite a challenge. The best thing to do is take some extra time here.
Spend time reading reviews about the company. Ask your colleagues how they like the company in general without naming any person. Find out what ex-employees have to say about the company on Glassdoor.
8. Make your presence felt
You do not have to do anything that goes out of the way or seems particularly attention-hogging. The best way to do this is to get your work straight. Your company has hired you for a reason and that reason. As long as you keep fulfilling that reason, you will do well to make your presence felt.
9. Know the people on the team
Great work requires teamwork. You cannot possibly work meaningfully with a team unless you know how they like to do work. Matching work patterns with your teammates can be a great way of being more productive.
Start with a healthy conversation and for the large part, try to keep it about work. Do not look to throw in any question that could be seen as meddling with personal life. Remember, the goal here is to find how you can be more productive.
10. String together a project plan (impress the manager)
It does not matter whether or not you are officially responsible for the project. But it always helps to have a plot of your own. This way, you will always be the guy with an alternative move at every step of the project.
While it pays to have a plan of your own, be careful not to overstep the line. Always let the manager take the lead even if you are totally convinced you to have a better idea. However, let them know of your alternative whenever you feel it will be better for the team.
11. Learn from your colleagues
Not everyone knows everything. Maybe that is why we always keep learning from each other. Your colleagues, whether on your team or another, always know something that you don’t. You learn about these skills the same time you learn about your teammates in general.
When you do take the bouquet from your colleagues, make sure to offer some flowers in return. Your colleagues will also appreciate learning something new, thereby completing the loop of a healthy exchange.
12. Be a good wingman
When you join as part of a new team, it’s a given that you will work with others. In the early stage, it helps to play second fiddle for two reasons. One, the existing team members will not see you as an immediate threat. Secondly, you want to tread carefully in your early days.
Playing the good wingman sends out a positive signal to the team right at the start. It also tells the management that you are someone they can bank on to deliver.
13. Do not skip meetings
Once again, communication is key when you are at a remote job. This means you cannot skip meetings however boring they might appear to be. Make sure you get to those meetings even if some of the older employees seem to be skipping them rather regularly.
14. Always take notes
The most productive way to act upon instructions is to take notes. Remote jobs subtract the luxury of going back to the manager and asking for clarifications. You do not want to call them repeatedly.
Of course, you should take the liberty of calling your manager whenever there is a genuine moment of doubt. However, taking detailed notes keeps you way ahead of unwanted calls.
15. Speak when spoken to
This is particularly effective when there are a lot of people on the team. Wait for your turn to speak irrespective of how valid a point you seem to bring to the table. Follow his doctrine especially during team meetings and when a lot of seniors are around.
16. Take timely breaks
Creating an impression for yourself at your remote job is important. But, it’s way more important to make sure you get some breaks within those nine hours. Your brain cannot function normally if you keep sitting down all those hours.
Indulge in short bursts of workouts while you are on breaks. This gives your body the necessary leases of energy to carry on with the work. Adhere a little caution against taking very long breaks early in your remote job.
FOUNDER, PRODUCT ARCHITECT & CHAIRMAN