Starting a new job is an exciting and stressful time, even normally.
Add 2021 to that, and you’re also likely to be working remotely — which creates all sorts of new considerations and challenges to think about. From virtual training sessions, to self-learning, to only meeting your colleagues on Zoom and not being able to natter over a coffee… It’s a lot to take in.
That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible though — or that it has to be ridiculously stressful for you. Below, we take a look at how you crush your new job in 2021, even if you’re working from home.
Get up to speed
One great way to feel more confident and comfortable going into a job: get up to speed.
Before you get started at your new job, brush up on exactly what you’re going to be doing and research the company you’re going to be working with.
While you’ve already impressed them enough to secure the job, it’s good to have a thorough understanding of exactly what you’re going to be doing. Take a look at their website, read up on the work they do, and familiarise yourself with the other employees you’re going to be working with.
Improve your home office
If you’re starting a new job remotely then you need a productive home office to make sure you’re able to do your best work.
Set up a dedicated workspace that’s away from any distractions, and — if you don’t already have one — invest in a proper desk and a suitable chair that supports your back. Having the right setup will keep you comfortable and focused, and also ensure that you don’t cause damage to your neck and back.
Your new job may provide you with certain equipment like a laptop and accessories but you should also consider getting a wireless keyboard, mouse and a second screen so that you don’t have to be hunched over. Having two screens also allows you to view more at once without switching between screens, increasing your productivity.
Whatever equipment you do have, set up ahead of your first day. You don’t want to wait until five minutes before you start to discover you’ve got the wrong cable or the laptop won’t connect to your wireless network.
Set yourself up with the right tools
As well as having all the right equipment, you should also spend some time trying out tools that can help you stay organised and do your job better. Your new job will likely have certain systems and software that they set you up on but there are some essential tools you can use to get ahead of the game.
For example, use a digital notebook to record important information. There are plenty of good options as covered in this list, but a good note tool will help you store and organise all the things you need to remember in your first few days.
If your new company doesn’t have recommendations or established tools, do your own research into the best task management apps. They’ll help you to keep on top of a hectic workload and prioritise your to-do list based on deadlines, so that you can impress your new manager with how productive you can be.
Get to know everyone
Introducing yourself to everyone is an important part of settling into a new role, and will help you get up to speed. But when you’re working from home it’s not as easy to just start chatting to other members of the team, so you’ll have to be more proactive.
Pay attention to how your team and the rest of the business communicate. Each company has slightly different expectations when it comes to using email, instant messaging, video calls, and other channels. You need to use the right channel for talking with your team and talking with clients or formal meetings and make sure to pick up on the tone of voice and approach. Don’t wade into conversations with a controversial opinion or crude language — get a feel for the vibe and be friendly but professional, particularly during your first week.
Reach out to other members of your team with a quick introduction about yourself, or suggest a casual Zoom session after work when everyone can drop in and say hello. If your new company has arranged introductions with people, make sure that you pay attention and try to remember something about each person so that you can strike up a conversation again.
Remember to ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when things are unclear or you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s far better to be upfront and ask than try to figure it out on your own and then admit that you’ve wasted time later on.
Working from home, it’s harder for your manager or your team to see if you’re struggling or confused, but they want you to succeed and will be happy to help. And remember that they’re probably still adjusting to onboarding new employees remotely, so there might be some things they haven’t considered. Asking questions will actually show that you’re engaged and eager to take responsibility for your own development.
While starting a new job in 2021 might be slightly different from normal, with a bit of preparation and enthusiasm you’ll be able to impress your new company and settle in in no time.