The first day of a new job can be daunting. From learning a new route for your commute (and getting used to the traffic that comes with it!), to getting acclimated with a new office setup and culture, the majority of the first hours on a new job are centered around pretty much everything but your job duties.
And while that’s great for those in a physical office, what happens if your first day on the job is in a remote setting, at home? With most of the typical office first-day formalities essentially eliminated, how can you best prepare for an effective first day of remote work?
Thankfully, our team of writers here at Guide to Graduate are entirely remote, so we have plenty of experience in that area. If you’re gearing up for your first day of remote work, keep reading for our top tips and tricks to complete before your first day to ensure you start off successful.
Set Up Your Space
When you work in an office, you’re usually given a dedicated work space, complete with the tech and tools you need to do your job. However, when you work at home, setting up that space is left up to you.
Depending on the company, some items, like office equipment and/or software, may be provided to you. Some companies, on the other hand, may provide employees with an at-home office budget or reimbursement. To be sure, check with your hiring manager on their specific protocol for the ideal home office setup before swiping your credit card.
Whether you have an entire room to dedicate to a home office, or have to shuffle around some furniture to fit a desk and the like, make sure you have everything you need set up and ready before your first day.
Chances are, your new employer has provided you with some information in advance of your start date. This usually includes an employee handbook, company software, and tools used for communication and collaboration.
Pro Tip: If you haven’t received any communication from your employer a day before your start date, send a quick check-in to the hiring manager asking if there’s anything you should have prepared in advance of your first day.
In our team’s experience, it’s in your best interest to treat this information as homework, and take some time to read through all of the resources available to you before day one on the new job. That way, you’ll be diving into your first day with as much knowledge and information as you can.
Want to make an even better first-day impression? Identify some clarification questions to ask the team based on what you’ve reviewed!
Experts agree – a successful onboarding starts before your first day, especially when you’re a remote worker.
Start by reaching out to your new peers via email (you can ask the hiring manager or recruiter for the emails of the people you’ll work most closely with). Keep it short: introduce yourself, express your excitement to work with them, and ask them their preferred means of communication.
You can even share what you’re most excited about, and what you want to learn from them. That way, you can cross “introductions” off the list on your first day, and jump into your new role with teammates you’ve already met!
The first day of any new role is exciting, regardless of the setting! The most important thing to remember is to go easy on yourself as you acclimate and adjust to a new routine and coworkers. This is a time to embrace the unknown and ask questions–enjoy it!