7 tips for starting a new job remotely

Female employee speaking on video call

It’s quite normal to feel nervous when starting a new job. But what happens when your first day on that job is remote? With Covid-19 restrictions still occurring with relative frequency in many parts of the country, there’s a chance many employees will begin a new job remotely at some stage. So instead of being shown your new desk and enjoying a welcome lunch with your new colleagues, your first day is more likely to consist of Zoom meetings and a table for one.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about tackling your new responsibilities remotely, or wondering how to fit into a team that you can’t meet in person, here are some tips that can help you start a new job remotely.


1. Be proactive and speak to your manager before or on your start date

Once you have signed your new contract, your manager may send you introductory information or touch base with you before you start date. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your equipment needs, remote access, software or platforms they use. It’s a good opportunity to clarify any other questions you may have about the role. This gives you the chance to set up or buy any equipment in advance, so that you are more prepared on your first day. If you don’t receive anything from your manager beforehand, then it can be a good idea to be proactive and get in contact with them yourself.

If you aren’t able to touch base with your manager before you commence, then hopefully a one-on-one video call with your manager is set up on your first day. If this isn’t the case, then don’t be afraid to ask for one. It’s a lot easier to stop by your manager’s desk to ask questions when you are in the office, but it’s just as important ask for guidance when working from home.


2. Get confident with technology

Familiarising yourself with new technology and software can help you feel more comfortable on your first day. If details of these programs aren’t provided, don’t be afraid to request this information before you commence. You will likely need to know the platforms used to communicate with one another (do they use Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Slack?), as well as having your emails set up. Being appropriately set up on these platforms will help you feel more confident in your first week.

It’s also important to test out your computer’s video and audio settings before your first day to avoid any hiccups, especially if you are receiving a new computer. This will help to relieve any nerves you may have about your first introductory calls and meetings, but also shows your new manager that you have come organised and ready.


3. Allow yourself extra time and stay organised

Meetings and inductions are typical during your first week in any new role, so make sure you’re just as prepared as you would be if you were commencing this role face-to-face. Be punctual and allow extra time to organise yourself for meetings and/or training sessions, by having your computer and any other equipment ready to go and your workspace set up.

It can also be a good idea before meetings to identify who you will be speaking with and what their role is within the company. You can then look at resources such as your company website, intranet and LinkedIn to find out more about them and their connection to your role. You may even want to write down any questions before your meetings, so you appear engaged and eager to learn.


4. Take notes and keep these prompts visible

It can be helpful to initially keep notes on any information you receive about the company, including employee names, important dates, company protocols, etc. Unlike being in an office where your workspace would be on display, you have the luxury at home to keep your notes and any prompts visible at all times. This will allow you to quickly refer to them when you are having a conversation or are in a meeting with your colleagues.

As you get to know your team and colleagues more, you can begin to note down their specific responsibilities, certain topics you discuss, as well as how they prefer to communicate. This will give you a greater understanding of their areas of responsibility and how you are likely to work with them moving forward.


5. Engage and get to know your team

Getting to know your team is important when starting any new job, but even more so when you can’t physically interact with your colleagues on a daily basis. Starting a new job remotely can be challenging, especially for people who are more introverted and find it hard to reach out. However, putting in that extra effort to pick up the phone or send messages on your team’s group chat, can show you are trying to Build relationships.

You can start by asking your colleagues what projects they are working on, or what you should know about the organisation. As you become more familiar with your team, it’s important to have non-work-related conversations as well, so you get to know more about who you work with. This will help you feel more connected to your team and make working remotely more gratifying.


6. Stick to a normal routine and don’t overwork yourself

When working remotely, it can be challenging to draw the line between work and home, which can lead to unhealthy working habits. While you may feel like you have to work longer hours to familiarise yourself with your role, it’s crucial to establish a sustainable and productive work routine from the start.

Try to avoid replying to emails late at night or on weekends, so you set boundaries for yourself and demonstrate to others that you aren’t working longer hours than necessary. Give yourself a proper lunch break and try to fit in a walk or some form of exercise throughout the day. This gives you a chance to reenergise yourself and improve your concentration when you return to your desk.


7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. While it can be easier to shy away from reaching out when you are working remotely, it’s important to continually ask questions to develop your knowledge and skills and reduce potential frustration. The nature of remote work will make it more difficult for your manager and colleagues to see if you’re struggling, so rather than waiting, it’s important to ask any questions.


It can be challenging being the new person on a team, especially when starting a job remotely. However, by being proactive, organised and engaged with your team, you’ll be better able to transition into a new role. For more career advice and tips, check out our career resources or contact Bayside Group today.

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