Starting a New Job From Home

Tips for Starting a Job Remotely.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

In these troubling and uncertain times, I went through the strange experience of staring a new job. Video call fatigue is already setting in as I feel like I am hitting the world record for total clocked time in a teams call (bit of an over-exaggeration, but thats how it feels). However, being in this situation gives me the opportunity to talk about what it’s been like to start a new job without meeting any of my colleagues in person, or even stepping foot into the office, and give my tips for how I’ve been getting the most out of it.

Work From Home Set-Up

My work space / set-up have a huge impact on my motivation and mood while I’m working, so it’s extra important to me that I have everything set up nicely.

Number 1 on my list is plants 🌱✨🌿🌟🌵, Having houseplants around me when I’m working boosts my mood and it’s proven that having plants around your work space decreases stress and increases productivity.

Secondly, it’s important if you can to set yourself up with everything you need to work effectively. For me, that means:

  • Laptop on a stand so the screen is at eye-level, combined with keyboard and mouse for ~ergonomics~
  • A good desk chair (without breaking the bank)
  • Remember to stand up every so often, walk around and stretch!
  • Headphones
  • A good notebook and pen (nothing beats the feeling of using a good pen on good quality paper 🤩)

Socialising & Asking For Help

I’m very much an extroverted introvert, so I do try to be a little more outgoing during calls or when chatting to people. My biggest tips for this kind of thing are to be friendly, and be yourself! It’s ok if you’re camera shy or you don’t feel comfortable being on camera — I find it helps me to have the camera on if I can, because even though I’m not talking, I usually react non-verbally (nods, smiles) to what people are saying and I like to show that I am engaging in that way with what the other person is saying, but if that’s not for you, that’s ok too!

I was really shy in my first few days, I didn’t ask any questions and I was scared to reach out or take up anyone’s offers for help. This is so detrimental as I was holding myself back! There is nothing wrong with asking questions or asking for help if you need it, especially if you have exhausted all your own knowledge and made every attempt to figure it out on your own. There is no point halting your progression by not reaching out to someone you know has the ability to help you. Politely ask them if they can spare a few minutes to jump on a call with you and help you out. There is no harm in asking, the worst thing they can do is say no, and that’s not the end of the world…

Making Notes 📝

I love making notes. I’m that kind of person, but it’s not just about pretty handwriting and pastel highlighters. I like to note down new things I pick up on so I have a record of everything I can go back and review if I need to. It’s really good to keep a work journal like this to look back on, as a sort of ‘knowledge bank’ you can reference as and when you need to.

At the end of every day, I also like to write down 3 things I’ve learnt that day. This can be 3 new pieces of information, realisations, affirmations or really anything that I can use to reflect on and track my progress in a sense. These reflections can be really useful when it comes to manager 1-to-1s and progress reviews!

Work / Life Balance

It’s vital for your productivity and general wellbeing that you switch off from time to time, and step away from the computer.

Before starting my job, I used to spend every spare minute of my day coding, scrolling or procrastinating on my laptop. Now, I have found it’s best to get away from it, go outside, read a book, and do anything that doesn’t involve hours staring at a screen.

It’s also important in your first few weeks in a new job, especially when working from home, to begin building good boundaries between work and home life. This can be things like not doing anything work related in rooms where you relax (sometimes it’s unavoidable, but bedroom-offices are a productivity and sleep killer), or blocking out personal time (lunch breaks, before/after work) and not doing anything work related what-so-ever during those times.

I hope that if you take one thing away from reading this post, it’s that in such strange circumstances, starting a new job remotely can feel very lonely and different, but it’s the small things we can do to make the most of it that matter 😊.

Software Engineer & Comp. Sci. graduate, writing about professional development, working in tech, and all things coding. https://www.elletownsend.co.uk

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store