Due to numerous recent lockdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are now taking their work online. Many pandemic recruitment processes now include Skype job interviews online and zoom meetings in the place of in-person meet-the-teams. If you are just starting a remote job or thinking of applying for a remote job and are wondering how to successfully work from home in a new role, the team here at Shawthorpe are here to help.

Before Starting a Remote Job

So you’ve aced your Skype interview and gained a new job working remotely, what now? As with starting any new job, it pays to do your research beforehand. Find out as much as you can about your new role and any systems that may be in place for remote employees. At this stage, you should make sure that you understand all of the expectations of the role and be prepared for a completely different form of onboarding than you may be used to. Many businesses have had to completely overhaul their onboarding process due to the pandemic forcing companies to work from home.

It is worth checking in with what exactly the onboarding process entails in your new position to make sure you are hitting the ground running when working remotely in your new job. Starting a remote job for the first time has its own unique challenges but this is all part of the learning curve in figuring out how to successfully work from home.

Preparing your Home for Remote Working

Before starting a remote job, take a look at your home environment and take time setting up your space ready for working from home. Do you have a dedicated space you can use to work remotely or do you need to set up a space away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house where you can work effectively? This is particularly important if you have children who may be out of school at different times during school closures and holidays.

Whilst many of us are not lucky enough to have a dedicated home office already, the good news is it is relatively easy enough to set one up to successfully work from home. If you have a spare room or conservatory you can take over, that works great. Using a separate room enables you to shut the door on home life and focus on work during working hours.

Alternatively, set up ‘work hours’ in your home if you will be using a shared space. This involves having set times when you let other members of the household know you should not be disturbed. For children, this could involve having your scheduled breaks pinned up on the wall letting them know when you are available for a quick chat and when you need to be working quietly. Whilst it is possible to work from home in a shared space, this should ideally not mean working in a room full of people with distractions. You may find yourself having frequent conference calls when working remotely so it is important that you have a space in your home where others will not be interrupting your calls or creating excessive noise.

Setting up a Work Space for Remote Working

When working from home for the first time, try to set up your own dedicated workspace. This should include everything you need in order to work from home. This should include a desk or table space, your computer or laptop and a comfortable chair at the very least. When starting work, ensure you have any paperwork or notes to hand to avoid constantly getting up to fetch things and getting distracted along the way. Additionally, take a look at the lighting in your work from home space. Well-lit work areas tend to contribute to higher productivity, so it may be worth investing in a desk lamp and choosing an area that is next to a natural light source.

Getting to Know Your Team Remotely

When it comes to starting a remote job, the lack of face-to-face interaction with your new colleagues can sometimes seem daunting. However, whilst there may be no catch-ups in the kitchen whilst making a cuppa, remote working still offers ways to get to know your new colleagues. Some of the many pieces of advice out there for those working from home for the first time are to avoid making informal chats with work colleagues purely work-based. Whilst it is important to be productive, personal connections with colleagues whilst working remotely can benefit how your team works as well as help you settle into your new role quicker so be sure to make time for some non-work-related questions. These can be a quick message on Slack or other work-based messaging platform or simply asking how someone’s weekend went when talking on a video call.

Adapting to Working from Home for the First Time

If you have never worked from home before then it may take some time to adapt to this new form of working. Part of how to successfully work from home is learning what your personal working style is and how you work best. Talk to your new employer about any issues you are having and ask them if they have any advice they have learned about working remotely. When starting a remote job for the first time, it is important that you are completely sure of any expectations your new employer has of you and any goals that you should be hitting in your first few weeks working remotely. This is important to make sure that nothing is lost in translation when it comes to communicating with your team online.

How to Successfully Work from Home

Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all formula for working from home for the first time, there are some general tips for making working from home work for you. When starting a new job remotely it is important to put some time aside to figure out what makes you more productive and how you work best both in an office and at home. You can then take some common denominators from these and put them into practice to work successfully from home.

For example, do you work more successfully in the afternoon after a morning completing ad-hoc tasks and chasing project statuses? Alternatively, do you find your best ideas come to you first thing in the morning with a second spurt of inspiration reaching you after lunch? If you are able to structure your day around these personal working styles, organising your tasks around when you are most likely to see success with the specific types of tasks is a key component to making working remotely successful for you. However you work, make sure that you are regularly checking in with your team to make sure you are meeting any expectations and goals that may have been agreed on and not missing any key developments that could affect your work.

With years of experience finding people their dream role, our team here at Shawthorpe are experienced in facing any career challenges thrown at us including working through the global pandemic. We know that finding the right role for the right person is imperative. If you are looking to start a new career, why not take a look at our job vacancies page or get in touch to find your new job role?