Remote Work Newbie Handbook: Look Like a Pro from Day One
Welcome to the future of work. As a remote work newbie, whether you’re part-time or full-time, you’re helping to build it.
At this point, you’ve already rocked the remote interview process and may be wondering, “What’s next?” Often, those new to this lifestyle can get caught up in the tactical realm: finding the best gear, tech, tools, and environment to get work done. While all of those elements are important, what impacts your success from day one isn’t the type of standing desk you’ve chosen—it’s how you approach your job.
Let me explain. While some companies may have an orientation program in place, it’s more likely that you’ll need to prepare yourself to work remotely. Sounds easy enough. The only problem is that you may not know where to begin.
On that note, we’ve got you covered with the following three tips to save you time and make you look like a pro from day one. Zero in on these critical areas and the rest will fall into place much more easily as a remote work newbie:
Establish a routine.
Maybe you really do love to work in your pjs ‘til noon. Fair enough. But enough days in a row of not “feeling” like a professional can affect your psyche as well as your productivity. (I know this firsthand; no matter how awesome it is to work from your home office, cabin fever is real.) So if you want to improve your physical fitness, for example, maybe your remote workday begins with an invigorating gym session—or it could be punctuated by an afternoon run, when energy lulls can sap you of your focus.
Perhaps you begin the day by working from your home office and shift to a second half in a nearby coffee shop or coworking space. Keep in mind that creating an ideal routine might also involve the types of work you do, not just where you do it. So mornings might be dedicated to planning and in-depth project tasks, while afternoons could be reserved for team calls or client meetings. The best part: it’s entirely up to you!
Kick it into high gear.
The secret to managing yourself when nobody’s watching is to align everything you’re doing to your own personal goals. Why, exactly? Although we profess to be totally committed and loyal to our company, as professionals, we’re often the most motivated by accomplishing tasks aligned to what we want for ourselves. So whether you’re staring down a high-level strategic plan or a month-long drip campaign, you need to figure out how your achievements on these projects will impact you directly.
This approach may sound self-centered, but the result certainly isn’t: you put your best foot forward and work like your career is at stake, and both you and your employer win. You may have heard that remote work requires significant self-discipline, and that’s true. You can maintain punctuality in terms of preparing for meetings and adhering to deadlines by creating a sense of urgency and an atmosphere of accountability.
Keep on connecting.
Though typical interactions may be limited to chat or audio calls, invest time in building rapport with colleagues from day one. Demonstrating your openness to communicate will set you up for more transparent conversations down the road, which helps whenever difficulties arise—and they do come up from time to time. Also, showing support for your teammates in tough times keeps your work human. You didn’t sign up to be a remote worker to feel like a cog in a wheel; you did it because it enables you to have a better work-life balance.
And what about those pros you meet outside of your new gig? Well, you can both make new connections and continue building relationships from a distance. Networking doesn’t end simply because you’re no longer in an office every day. Take the time to seek out all sorts of communities for yourself, whether those apply to your personal or professional interests, and you’ll likely find that you’re able to grow your network beyond what you would in a traditional office setting.
Once you’ve set yourself up for success, who knows? You just might be the teammate who creates an onboarding plan for your organization. You’ll be well equipped to do so, and your new colleagues will surely thank you for it.
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
By Kristi DePaul | November 3, 2017 | Categories: Work Remotely