Starting Work Remotely

The effects of Covid-19 have been far-reaching on the world of work. It is perfectly normal to feel confused, apprehensive and unsure as to what to expect. Particularly if you have secured a new job.

This is a new situation for everyone. Your new employer will be working hard to ensure that they can welcome you in the best possible way. However, with the country on lockdown, the likelihood is that you will be required to start your new role remotely.

Where to start?

HR will send out your contract and will need to ensure they have set you up on payroll. They will also need to carry out a physical check on your ID. Each company will have its own policy on how best to do this so pay close attention to the email communications coming your way.

Once this has been completed, they may also issue you with company equipment such as a laptop, phone and any other equipment necessary for your role. Expect to be in frequent communication at this point and make sure that you are available by phone. Most companies will email you a schedule to help you get started. Your new team will also want to meet and welcome you via video conference and will be keen to help you.

What else will you need?

As with remote interviewing, remote working will require you to find a space that you can dedicate to work. If the kitchen is the only viable space, then the kitchen it is. Although, ideally, it would be a good idea to find a place where you can leave your work station set up. This way, you won’t have to tidy everything away at breakfast, lunch and dinner times. Your space should be comfortable and distraction-free. By all means, allow yourself access to a radio but try to avoid rooms with heavy traffic and loud noises. A spare room would be ideal. If you will need to take client meetings via video link, do remember to use a space that looks presentable – from the bed is not going to be the best option!

The Internet

There is no escaping the fact that you will need the internet in order to work remotely. It is worth upping your broadband speed if you possibly can. Particularly if you have children who are home learning. A good connection should support all of your devices but keep in mind that one device can monopolize the bandwidth if it is playing videos or supporting conferences between you and your team. It is a good idea to try to minimize the access your family has to online games and movies when you need to take part in video calls.

Routine

Routine will be your new best friend when working from home. Get up at the same time, have a shower and get dressed in ‘work clothes’. Keep set break times and, if it helps, work in 25-minute stints then take a 5-minute break. Remember, you are not going to have the general chit chat from colleagues that gives your brain a rest. Importantly, also stick to your assigned working hours. If you burn yourself out by working extra hours each evening, your productivity will lessen as the weeks go on.

Communication

Don’t be afraid to over-communicate. This comes back to the point about having no team around you to chat with. It doesn’t hurt to email or Whatsapp – if your colleagues are busy, they will get back to you as soon as they are able. It is better to ask the questions and to start building the relationships now than to quietly struggle by. Communication is absolutely crucial to the success of individuals but also to companies. It is the only way that we are all going to get through the social distancing measures too so don’t be shy!

We hope that this helps and wish you every success in your new role. 🙂