How To Start A New Remote Job

By Sky Ariella
Nov. 29, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

For many people, getting a remote job can be a dream come true. However, starting a remote job is also significantly different from starting a new office job, so it brings a unique set of challenges.

Whether this is your first remote job or you’re a seasoned remote worker switching to a new role, we put together this list of 16 tips to help you complete this transition to telework as smoothly as possible.

Key Takeaways

  • The top three tips for starting a new remote job are to consider the company’s familiarity with remote onboarding, get the right equipment, and define your schedule.

  • It’s important to build relationships with your remote team even if you never see them in person.

  • Establishing clear expectations for your role with your boss is vital to your success.

How To Start A New Remote Job

16 Tips to Start Your New Remote Job

  1. Consider the company’s familiarity with remote onboarding. Once you’ve gotten word of a work-from-home job offer, consider your new employer’s familiarity with the remote onboarding process.

    If you’re starting in a position that’s typically worked from home, then the company likely has an established and functional onboarding process. On the other hand, if your job more recently turned into a remote position, then the employer might not be as well-versed in remote onboarding.

    Either way, understanding what you’re in for when it comes to onboarding prepares you to take it on more effectively.

  2. Get the right equipment. Many companies provide their remote employees with equipment or give them a stipend to buy their own, so check with your employer early on to find out what their policies are.

    After you’ve established this, purchase the equipment and supplies you’ll need to do your job well. This may include:

    • A computer

    • Additional monitors

    • An ergonomic desk and chair

    • A printer/scanner

    • A wireless keyboard and mouse

    • A planner or notebook

    • Pens

    • Noise-cancelling headphones with a microphone

    • Additional physical or digital storage

    • A laptop bag

    • Secure, reliable high-speed internet

    It’s often a good idea to start simply and then add more equipment and supplies as you realize you need them. So, during your first few weeks of work, pay attention to what would make your job easier, and don’t be afraid to ask your employer for what you need.

  3. Keep yourself to a defined schedule during work hours. One of the things that many remote employees struggle with when beginning a new remote job is sticking to a defined work schedule.

    Oftentimes, these kinds of positions award the employees more freedom with their hours and a flexible schedule, which can be beneficial or to their detriment. It takes diligence and self-motivation to stick with strict work hours when you’re in the comforts of home, but it’s all part of transitioning into a remote job.

    Before starting your new position, write out a schedule of defined hours and hold yourself accountable for following it.

  4. Introduce yourself to the remote team. Even though you’re not working with your new professional team in the same office, it’s still important to make the effort of introducing yourself to them individually.

    Personal introductions are the first step to team-building. Remote teams still need to coordinate with each other and function cohesively.

    Introducing yourself professionally through email, video chat, or your company’s task management system shows coworkers that you’re excited to become a part of the team, even if it’s from your living room.

  5. Ask all the questions that pop into your mind. Many people are reluctant to ask questions when beginning a new job because they’re uncomfortable, but this can severely hurt their performance.

    Asking questions during the onboarding process of any job is needed to meet an employer’s expectations, but it’s especially crucial when starting a remote job. The physical distance between you and your co-workers leaves more room for misunderstandings that could be avoided by asking questions beforehand.

  6. Dress professionally for video chats. Lots of recently hired employees in their first remote position fall into the trap of neglecting their wardrobe during work hours.

    Remote positions can have just as many face-to-face interactions over video chat as an in-person job does. If you’re still dressed in pajamas when you receive an unexpected video call from your supervisor, it reflects poorly on your professionalism.

    Luckily, you only need to worry about dressing professionally when it comes to the parts of your outfit that will be seen over video-chat on Skype or similar platforms. That means you should wear a professional top and do your hair nicely, but it’s probably okay to wear comfortable pants.

  7. Establish the expectations for your role. In addition to asking any questions you have about the daily functioning in your new role, you should also establish clear expectations for your work. This is another smart move for any new job but absolutely necessary when you’re beginning a remote job.

    Have a discussion with your supervisor in which these details are outlined for you, preferably over video chat, before your first official day of work.

    You may be surprised to find how much more relaxed you feel about starting a new remote job when the guidelines and expectations have been clearly set.

  8. Create a workspace in your home or find a coworking space. Working remotely requires the conscious effort of building your professional workspace. In a traditional job with an office environment, a person’s workspace is typically dictated by the employer, but this isn’t true of work-from-home positions.

    A remote employee’s workspace drastically depends on their preferences and needs. Individuals who are experienced with working from home might be comfortable with designating an area of their house for professional hours.

    For someone who’s inexperienced with telework, paying monthly for a co-working space might be the best option to enhance focus.

    Evaluate what environment would suit your remote work, and start building this space around these needs.

  9. Communicate vigorously. Communication drives worthwhile professional interactions, regardless of the industry you work in. When you’re working in a remote position, making an effort to create strong lines of communication is even more important.

    Since you won’t be coming into an office five days a week to speak directly with co-workers, mastering written communication is a must.

    The start of a new remote job is an excellent time to begin strengthening your communication skills across technology.

  10. Foster professional relationships. After properly introducing yourself to new coworkers when you’ve been hired for a remote job, work towards fostering these professional relationships to build long-lasting connections.

    Just because you don’t work in the same room together doesn’t mean that your co-workers can’t become a part of your professional network.

    It might be a little more difficult to form a bond outside of work in a remote job because you could be living states away from your co-workers. However, it’s still possible to create durable professional relationships that will last the length of your career.

  11. Get acquainted with the technology and systems your job uses. Most remote positions have a series of technology and systems that they utilize to complete their work.

    During the onboarding process for a new work-from-home job, the supervisor informs you of the software that the team uses and briefly introduces how it functions. After this initial lesson, broaden your knowledge of using these systems to make sure you’re up to speed on your first day.

    You don’t have to spend copious amounts of hours learning the ins and outs of every system that the company uses, but try to become familiar enough to succeed in your first few weeks of work. Getting acquainted with the software before you begin working saves time later on.

  12. Find little ways to motivate yourself during the workday. When you don’t have a boss watching your every move during a long workday, motivating yourself to complete tasks can be a little more difficult.

    Many people enjoy the idea of working without supervision, but they struggle when given the opportunity to do so. To avoid floundering in your new remote responsibilities, figure out small gestures to keep yourself motivated throughout the workday.

    There are numerous motivating factors you can use in a remote job to encourage success, depending on your preferences. For example, one remote employee might motivate themselves by treating themselves to a take-out lunch on workdays. This gives them something to look forward to through the day and week.

    Other teleworkers might effectively motivate themselves by taking periodic breaks on a schedule to play a video game or watch their favorite television show. Find the motivation tactics that work for you and stick with them.

  13. Be mindful of maintaining a work-life balance. Working in a remote position is a dream come true for a lot of recently hired employees, but they still need to be vigilant about maintaining a work-life balance.

    This means that you shouldn’t lean too strongly in either direction when you’re working in a remote role. Don’t become prone to working all hours of the day because a set schedule isn’t provided.

    Additionally, try not to slack off on working because you’re spending your professional time in the comforts of home.

  14. Set professional goals for yourself. Much of the structure that’s provided by a conventional work environment falls to the wayside in a remote role, such as setting continual professional goals.

    Avoid the inclination to forget about setting SMART, professional goals when you’re working from home. These positions usually offer the best chance at reaching lofty professional goals because you can form your own schedule around completing them.

  15. Embrace your flexible side. Remote jobs demand much more flexibility than the typical in-person position. This rings especially true if your job isn’t usually done from home, outside of the Corona confines.

    When you’re starting a new remote role, give in to the part of your personality that’s willing to go with the flow.

    Whether it’s technical difficulties or communication mishaps, you’ll likely be using adaptability skills on a daily basis when starting a new remote job.

  16. Take time getting to know your working habits at home. When settling into a brand new remote job, go into it with the understanding that it takes time to get familiar with your working habits in this environment. Be willing to accept a few bumps in the road when transitioning into a work-from-home role as well.

    Within the first few months at a remote job, you’ll start to pick up on things that work for you and other habits that hinder your performance. Keep an eye out for these positive and negative working habits and use the information to improve your functioning in the future.

Remote Job FAQ

  1. What is the hardest part of working remotely?

    The hardest part of working remotely is typically isolation and finding the right routine. Many remote workers say that isolation from coworkers is challenging to their mental health and their productivity.

    Being home alone all day takes its toll even for introverts, and it’s difficult to feel like you’re a part of a team or larger organization when you only interact with your coworkers over video calls.

    In addition to this, many remote workers say that finding the right routine is challenging for them, whether that’s establishing start and stop times, staying focused, or balancing work and familial responsibilities.

  2. What is a common mistake to avoid when working remotely?

    A common mistake to avoid when working remotely is getting distracted by things in your home. These could be partially completed house projects, chores, or even your TV.

    While a benefit of remote work is being able to run a load of laundry or let in the plumber while you’re working, it can be all too easy to let your personal life keep you from doing your work.

    The oposite is also true, however, as many people also fall into the trap of never fully separating themselves from their work in the evenings or on weekends. This takes a toll on your relationships and mental health, and it will quickly lead to burnout.

  3. What is remote work etiquette?

    Remote work etiquette is respecting your coworkers’ and clients’ time. This means being reachable during working hours (and communicating when you won’t be), only making phone calls and scheduling meetings during working hours, and being mindful of time zones.

    Just because you prefer to start at 5:00 a.m. or go until 10:00 p.m. doesn’t mean everyone else does, and you should respect that just as you would if you were working in an office.

Final Thoughts

The initial stages of finding out that you’ve been offered a new remote job often involve bursting with excitement and calling family members to gush. After the exhilaration of getting the position that you’ve desired wears off, the feelings are quickly replaced with the onset of panic about starting a new job remotely.

Whether you’ve been hired for a job that’s temporarily remote thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, or it’s a permanent telework gig, starting a new work-from-home position is stressful in its own unique way.

Making a successful transition into a new remote job might be nerve-wracking, but it’s possible with a little bit of extra effort.

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Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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Topics: Guides, Life At Work